The Princess Who Wanted the Moon: BSEM Class 9 English notes

the princess who wanted the moon
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Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the story “The Princess Who Wanted the Moon” by James Thurber, which is a part of Class 9 English syllabus for students studying under Manipur Board (BSEM).


The story is about a 10-year old princess named Lenore who becomes ill after eating too many raspberry tarts. The Royal Doctor examines her and is worried about her condition. He informs the King, who is Lenore’s father, about it. The King asks Lenore if there is anything she wants that will make her feel better. Lenore says she wants the moon. If she can have the moon, she will recover.

The King first asks the Lord High Chamberlain to get the moon for Lenore, but he says it is impossible since the moon is very far away and huge in size. Next, the King commands the Royal Wizard to get the moon. The wizard also says no one can get the moon, as it is even farther than what the chamberlain said and is made of green cheese and very large. The King then tells the Royal Mathematician to find a way to get the moon. He gives accurate details about the distance and size of the moon, but concludes that getting the real moon is impossible.

Finally, the King asks the Court Jester for help. Through simple logic, the jester finds out exactly what Lenore thinks the moon is like – its size, distance, and material. He then asks the Royal Goldsmith to make a tiny golden moon that matches Lenore’s description and gets it for her. Lenore is very happy with it. However, the King knows Lenore will see the real moon that night and become ill again, realising the moon she has is fake. So he desperately asks his wise men to hide the moon somehow, but all their ideas have flaws.

When the real moon rises, the worried King again summons the jester. The jester simply goes and asks Lenore how there can be a moon in the sky when she already has it around her neck. Lenore explains it like the cycle of nature – when she loses a tooth, a new one grows; when flowers are plucked, new ones bloom. The jester realises the childlike innocence in her logic. As Lenore falls asleep, he silently walks out after winking at the moon, which seems to wink back at him.

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Textual notes


(A) From your understanding of the story answer the following questions

a. To the Lord High Chamberlain the moon was

Answer: II. 35,000 miles away.

b. According to the Royal Wizard the moon was made of

Answer: IV. Green cheese.

c. The Princess said that the moon was

Answer: IV. As high as the tree outside her window.

(B) Based on your reading of text complete the following statements

I. Princess Lenore fell ill because

Answer: She ate too many raspberry tarts.

II. The Lord High Chamberlain seemed twice as wise as he really was because

Answer: He wore thick glasses that made his eyes seem twice as large.

III. The cloak of invisibility the King wore did not work because

Answer: It did not stop him from bumping into things.

IV. The King told the Court Jester that every time he asked anybody for the moon

Answer: It got larger and farther away.

V. The Princess told the Court Jester that the moon was a little smaller than

Answer: Her thumb-nail.

VI. The King was so angry that he waved his arms around and said that black curtains

Answer: Would keep out the air and make the Princess ill again.

VII. The Court Jester said that Princess Lenore was wiser than

Answer: The wise men.

(C) Answer the following questions in a sentence each

I. What will make the Princess well again?

Answer: Getting the moon.

II. According to the Lord High Chamberlain, what was the moon made of?

Answer: Copper.

III. What was the moon made of according to the Royal Mathematician?

Answer: Asbestos.

IV. What was the moon made of according to the Princess?

Answer: Gold.

V. What was Lord High Chamberlain’s suggestion to keep the Princess from seeing the moon?

Answer: Stretching black velvet curtains on poles to cover all the palace gardens like a circus tent.

(D) Answer the following questions briefly

I. Why did the Lord High Chamberlain say that getting the moon was out of the question?

Answer: He claimed it was 35,000 miles away, larger than the Princess Lenore’s room, and made of copper, making it impossible to get.

II. What was the moon like according to the Royal Wizard?

Answer: The Royal Wizard described the moon as 1,500,000 miles away, twice as big as the palace, and made of green cheese.

III. “Nobody can get the moon.” Why did the Royal Mathematician say so?

Answer: The Royal Mathematician stated the moon was 3,000,000 miles away, round and flat like a coin, made of asbestos, and half the size of the kingdom, deeming it unattainable.

IV. Why did the King send for the Court Jester?

Answer: The King sought the Court Jester’s help after the wise men failed to devise a way to bring the moon to Princess Lenore to cure her illness.

V. What was the King’s problem even after the Princess got the moon?

Answer: The King worried that if the Princess saw the real moon in the sky, she would realize the one she had was not the actual moon.

VI. What was the Princess’s explanation about the presence of the moon?

Answer: The Princess explained that just like new teeth grow to replace lost ones and new flowers bloom to replace those cut, a new moon appears when one is taken.

(E) Answer the following questions in about 80 words

I. Are wise men always capable of solving difficult problems? Justify your answer with examples from the story.

Answer: Wise men are not always capable of solving difficult problems. In the story, the Lord High Chamberlain, the Royal Wizard, and the Royal Mathematician, despite their wisdom, failed to solve Princess Lenore’s request for the moon. Each provided a complex and impractical solution, showing their limitations in creative thinking. The Court Jester, although not traditionally wise, used a simple, imaginative approach to fulfill the Princess’s wish, indicating that wisdom does not always equate to problem-solving ability.

II. Write how the Court Jester solved both the King’s problems.

Answer: The Court Jester solved the King’s problems with creativity and understanding of human psychology. For the first problem, he listened to Princess Lenore’s perception of the moon and had a replica made to match her description, thus making her believe she had the moon. For the second problem, he cleverly used Princess Lenore’s own logic, stating that just as new teeth and flowers replace the old, a new moon would replace the one she had, resolving the King’s fear about the real moon in the sky.

Think and write

The Lord High Chamberlain gave the King a list of the things he did for the King. Some of them are possible, and some are impossible. Now make two lists—one of the possible things and the other of the impossible things—in the following columns.


Lord High Chamberlain

Possible thingsImpossible things
1. ivory1. black orchids
2. apes2. pink elephants
3. peacocks3. blue poodles
4. rubies4. hummingbirds’ tongues

(A) Discuss why the wise men failed to solve the Princess’s problems. In the list below some probable causes for their failure is given. Select the right reasons for their failure and write them down.

Answer: The wise men failed because:-

  • They knew it was not possible.
  • They looked at the Princess’ problem from an adult’s point of view.
  • They did not look at the problems from a child’s point of view.

(B) Which of the following, do you think, may be the central idea of the story?

I. When a difficult problem comes, it is best to be realistic and practical.

II. However difficult a problem may be, we should not outright say, “It is not possible.”. There may be a simple solution to it.

Answer: The central idea of the story seems to focus on the importance of not dismissing difficult problems as impossible and instead considering that there may be simple solutions. This aligns more closely with option II. The narrative encourages a mindset of looking for solutions, even in challenging situations, rather than immediately deeming them impractical or impossible.


(I) Combine the words on the left column with another on the right and make new words. One has been done for you.

Answer: The new words formed by combining the given words are as follows:

  • radio + station = radio station
  • news + paper = newspaper
  • court + jester = court jester
  • book + worm = bookworm
  • fore + head = forehead
  • country + men = countrymen
  • air + music = airmusic
  • inter + net = internet
  • flower + bag = flowerbag
  • pop + net = popnet
Writing Practice

The 4th birthday party of your little brother will be held on 15th of April,20……. Now complete the half- finished draft of the formal invitation on behalf of your parents. The name of your parents are Mr. And Mrs. Jonson Gange of Paradise Village: 


Mr. and Mrs. Jonson Gangte
Of Paradise Village, House No 8

Have the pleasure of inviting you to the 4th birthday party of their son ABC on Saturday, the 15th of April, 2025 at 5 pm at their residence.

Please grace the occasion with your presence.

John Sen
123 Main Street
Anytown, Assam

Extra MCQs

1. Who is the author of “The Princess Who Wanted the Moon”?

A. James Joyce B. James Thurber C. William Shakespeare D. J.K. Rowling

Answer: B. James Thurber

2. What was the Princess Lenore’s illness attributed to?

A. Eating too many raspberry tarts B. A magical curse C. A common cold D. A mysterious fever

Answer: A. Eating too many raspberry tarts

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14. How did the Court Jester prove to be wise?

A. By using magic B. By understanding the Princess’s perspective C. By consulting the Royal Wizard D. By creating a real moon

Answer: B. By understanding the Princess’s perspective

Extra Questions and Answers

1. What was the Princess Lenore’s illness caused by?

Answer: Princess Lenore became ill after eating too many raspberry tarts, as indicated in the story’s early part.

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16. Explore the theme of innocence and wisdom in the story, particularly in the characters of Princess Lenore and the Court Jester.

Answer: The story juxtaposes innocence and wisdom through Princess Lenore and the Court Jester. Lenore embodies innocence; her simple yet profound request for the moon demonstrates a pure, unbound imagination. The Jester, blending this innocence with his own wisdom, understands and values her perspective, showcasing that true wisdom often lies in appreciating and embracing the simplicity and clarity that innocence can offer.

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