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Poetry 1. The Old Gumbie Cat by T.S. Elliot
1 I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots; Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots. All day she sits upon the stair or on the steps or on the mat; She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!
5 But when the day's hustle and bustle is done, Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun. And when all the family's in bed and asleep, She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep. She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice--10 Their behaviour's not good and their manners not nice; So when she has got them lined up on the matting, She teachs them music, crocheting and tatting.
I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots; Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.15 All day she sits beside the hearth or on the bed or on my hat: She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!
But when the day's hustle and bustle is done, Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun. As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,20 She is sure it is due to irregular diet; And believing that nothing is done without trying, She sets right to work with her baking and frying. She makes them a mouse--cake of bread and dried peas, And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.
25 I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots; The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots. She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that's smooth and flat: She sits and sits and sits and sits--and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!
But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,30 Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun. She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment. So she's formed, from that lot of disorderly louts, A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts,35 With a purpose in life and a good deed to do-- And she's even created a Beetles' Tattoo.
So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers-- On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.
"The Old Gumbie Cat" from OLD POSSUM'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS, copyright 1939 by T.S. Eliot and renewed 1967 by Esme Valerie Eliot, reprinted by permission of Harcourt, Inc. Illustration from OLD POSSUM'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS by T. S. Eliot, copyright © 1982 by Edward Gorey, reproduced by permission of Harcourt, Inc.
1. What do lines 1-6 suggest about the cat during the day?
a. She is lazy.
Poetry 1. The Old Gumbie Cat by T.S. Elliot
b. She is angry.c. She is lonely.d. She is annoyed.
2. In lines 7-14, how does the cat attempt to improve the manners of the mice?
a. By teaching them skillsb. By chasing them aroundc. By giving them a lectured. By teaching them to cook
3. Based on the poem, what is the cat’s work?a. To sleep away hours in the sunb. To create an organized householdc. To surprise the humans in the housed. To make friends with other creatures
4. In the poem, which word best describes the speaker’s attitude toward the cat?a. Amusedb. Hopefulc. Resentfuld. Confused
5. Based on the poem, how is the cat different at night from how she is during the day?a. In the day, she sits by the window and looks out; at night she prowls around the house.b. In the day she just sits and sits and sits; at night she teaches good manners and silent
behavior to mice and employs roaches.c. In the day she hunts; at night she sleeps.d. In the day she sits and sits and sits; at night she hunts for mice and cockroaches.
6. What is the rhyme scheme in “The Old Gumbie Cat”?a. aabb ccddeeff aabb…b. abab cdcdefef abab…c. no rhyme--abcdefghijk…d. random rhyming—abcd abef cdgh,,,
7. Read the two lines from the poem: But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun
What is the author’s purpose in using this repetition in lines 5 and 6, 17 and 18, 29 and 30?
a. To show there are two parts to a dayb. To prove this is a poem with recognizable patternsc. To show the importance of what the cat doesd. To show the family is well organized