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Why Did the Old Woman Doubt Her Husband’S Story About How He Had Got the Kid? - English Language


The old woman didn’t like the look or sound of the kid. She scowled at her husband. ‘Where did you pick up this kitten from? Why do we need her?’ When the old man told her she was a goat kid, she picked her up and exclaimed in amazement: ‘Yes, she is a goat kid!’

All night, they went over the story of how the kid had come into their hands.

That same night the old lady gave the goat kid that resembled a kitten a nickname: Poonachi. She once had a cat by the same name. In memory of that beloved cat, this goat kid too was named Poonachi. They had acquired her without spending a penny. Now they had to look after her somehow. Her husband had told her a vague story about meeting a demon who looked like Bakasuran and receiving the kid from him as a gift. She wondered if he could have stolen it from a goatherd. Someone might come looking for it tomorrow. Maybe her husband had told her the story only to cover up his crime?

The old woman was not used to lighting lamps at night. The couple ate their evening meal and went to bed when it was still dusk. That night, though, she took a large earthen lamp and filled it with castor oil extracted the year before. There was no cotton for a wick. She tore off a strip from a discarded loincloth of her husband’s and fashioned it into a wick.

She looked at the kid under the lamplight in that shed as though she were seeing her own child after a long time. There was no bald spot or bruise anywhere on her body. The kid was all black. As she stared at the lamp, her wide-open eyes were starkly visible. There was a trace of fatigue on her face. The old woman thought the kid looked haggard because she had not been fed properly. She must be just a couple of days old. A determination that she must somehow raise this kid to adulthood took root in her heart.

She called the old man to come and see the kid. She looked like a black lump glittering in the lamplight in that pitch-black night. He pulled fondly at her flapping ears and said, ‘Aren’t you lucky to come and live here?’

It had been a long time since there was such pleasant chit-chat between the couple. Because of the kid’s sudden entry into their lives, they ended up talking a while about the old days.

[Extracted, with edits and revisions, from Poonachi, or the Story of a Black Goat, by Perumal Murugan, translated by N. Kalyan Raman, Context, 2018.]

Why did the old woman doubt her husband’s story about how he had got the kid? 


  • Because goat kids are only sold in livestock markets.

  • Because she thought the story was vague, and that he had actually stolen it from a goatherd.

  • Because she did not think Bakasuran was so generous as to gift him a goat kid.

  • Because her husband was a habitual thief and regularly stole things from other people.

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Because she thought the story was vague, and that he had actually stolen it from a goatherd.


The correct answer is – because she thought the story was vague, and that he had actually stolen it from a goatherd. Both these points are set out in the third paragraph. There is no information in the passage that would support the claim in goat kids are only sold in livestock markets; similarly, there is nothing in the passage to indicate that the old woman thought Bakasuran was not generous, neither is there any information in the passage to indicate that her husband was a habitual thief, and so, neither other options are correct.

Concept: Comprehension Passages (Entrance Exams)
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