Lesson 33: The City and the Village

Sushma lived in the city. Each night, she fell asleep listening to different sounds.

Loud music played outside her window. A train rumbled down the tracks.
Sometimes a fire engine or a police car zoomed by. In spite of the sound of
honking cars, she fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

One day, her family moved from the city to a village.
That night, Sushma lay in bed. She didn’t hear loud music. She didn’t hear the
cricket commentary on her neighbour’s radio. She didn’t hear the low rumble of
the train. She heard no cars revving their engines. She did not hear the siren of fire
engines, ambulances, or police cars.

“It’s too quiet,” Sushma thought to herself. “I can’t sleep.”
Then she listened again. Crickets chirped. An owl hooted. Frogs croaked. The
trees outside rustled as the wind blew hard. The windows rattled and the doors

Sushma yawned. Soon she was asleep.

A) What do these verbs (action words) mean?
Rumble — a continuous, low sound
Zoom — to move or travel quickly or at great speed
Chirp — (of a small bird or an insect) to make a short, sharp, high-pitched sound
Croak — a deep, harsh sound made by a frog
Hoot — a low, wavering musical call of an owl
Honk — to sound a horn to make a short, loud noise
Rustle — a soft, muffled crackling sound like that made by the movement of dry
leaves or paper
Rattle — a short, sharp knocking sound
Creak — a harsh, high-pitched sound

B) Fill in the blanks with the correct verb in the present tense: rumble, zoom,
chirp, croak, honk, hoot, rustle, rattle, creak
1. When the train ___ past, the nearby houses shake.
2. Frogs ___ when it rains.
3. In the still night, an owl ___.
4. Thunder ___. A storm is coming.
5. A red car ___ past. A police car is chasing it.
6. The birds are ___ in the bushes.
7. I have a sore throat. I can’t speak. I can only ___.
8. The sun is rising. The birds are ___ their ‘good mornings’ to each other. The flowers are still asleep.
9. When Sunil tells a joke to his friends, they ___ with laughter.
10. The cars ___ honking (their horns) kept us up half the night.
11. The pile of dry leaves ___ when the dog settled down on it for the night.
12. She turned the handle sharply, ___ the door in its frame.
13. I heard the wooden stairs ___ under the man’s heavy footsteps.

C) Choose one of the following verbs and use it in the past tense: rumble, zoom,
chirp, croak, and hoot.  Hint: All these verbs form their past tense with the suffix ‘ed’.
Example: It’s late and I’m tired. I yawn. Last night, I yawned before I fell asleep.
1. Thunder ____ and the rain poured down.
2. At dawn, the birds ____ happily.
3. The motorcycle ____ out of sight.
4. As night fell, the crickets ____ and the frogs ____.
5. The owl ____ and woke me up.

D) Poem

Car horns honking,
Motorbikes roaring,
Mobiles ringing,
Shoppers dashing,
Toddlers screeching,
Parents preaching,
Children whining,
Lost dogs pining,
First stars showing,
Bus queues growing,
Everyone going Home.

Make sentences in the present and past tenses with each of the verbs in the poem.
Example: The children whine.
The children whined.

Revised July 2020

Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: