The Rice Cakes: BSEM Class 9 English questions, answers

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Get summary, workbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the story “The Rice Cakes” by P. Aung Khim which is a part of Class 9 English syllabus for students studying under the Manipur Board (BSEM).


The play opens on a quiet morning in a small Burmese village, with birds chirping outside a simple bamboo-walled house. Inside, 8-year-old Ko Ko yawns and stretches after his parents have left for the fields, leaving him in charge. Opening the meat-safe cupboard, he happily discovers his favourite treat – four scrumptious rice cakes – that his mother has left for his breakfast. Gleefully rubbing his stomach at the prospect of enjoying them all himself, he brings them over to the low table.

Just as he is about to take the first coveted bite, there comes a loud knock at the door from his friend Nyi Nyi. Wanting to hide the cakes and prevent Nyi Nyi from sharing them, Ko Ko hurriedly conceals the plate behind the radio on the meat-safe. He lets Nyi Nyi in, who reveals he came to listen to a radio announcement about an important exam. Ko Ko lies that the radio is broken to keep Nyi Nyi away from discovering the hidden cakes. This leads Nyi Nyi to go somewhere else to listen to the radio. After getting rid of him, Ko Ko brings out the plate again in anticipation.

Ko Ko has barely picked up a cake when another knock comes, this time from his young friend Mi Mi. Knowing her appetite for rice cakes, he hastily hides the plate in an empty pink flower vase on the meat safe before letting her in. Mi Mi reveals she brought four hot banana fritters to share with the rice cakes (she learned about the rice cakes from Ko Ko’s mother), making Ko Ko regret his lie to Nyi Nyi earlier that he had already eaten them. As Mi Mi starts to eat the fritters, Ko Ko’s hungry stomach betrays him by growling loudly, despite his attempts to pass it off as a rat’s noise.

Next, their friend Tin Soe joins them, bearing a gift of flowers for Ko Ko’s mother’s new vase. Not wanting Tin Soe to take the vase holding the hidden cakes, Ko Ko spins another lie that his mother is allergic to those flowers. But before Tin Soe can take the flowers back, the People’s Shop manager, U Ba Tun, arrives. 

He has come to exchange Ko Ko’s mother’s pink vase for the blue one she wanted. To Ko Ko’s utter dismay, U Ba Tun picks up the vase with the rice cakes and leaves the blue one behind, as Ko Ko helplessly watches his precious cakes disappear, all thanks to his initial small lie that snowballed into the loss of his coveted treat.

The moral is that lies complicate situations, and honesty pays dividends. Through the humorous situation, the play highlights how even harmless lies can quickly escalate and cost us dearly.

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Textual notes


(A) Based on your reading of the play complete the following statements

(a) Seeing the rice cakes for breakfast Ko Ko was thrilled thinking that he was going to _________________________________

Answer: have a good feed.

(b) Nyi Nyi came to Ko Ko’s place because he wanted to hear on the radio _________________________________

Answer: an important announcement about their exam.

(c) To keep the rice cakes away from Mi Mi Ko Ko hid ________

Answer: them in an empty flower vase.

(d) Commenting on the banana fritter that he had eaten uncle U Ba Tan said _________________________________

Answer: that it was the best banana fritter he ever tasted.

(B) Answer the following questions in a sentence each

(a) What had happened to Nyi Nyi’s radio?

Answer: Nyi Nyi’s radio was out of order.

(b) Why did Ko Ko take some time in opening the door for Mi Mi?

Answer: Ko Ko took some time in opening the door for Mi Mi because he was hiding the rice cakes.

(c) Why did Ko Ko not want Mi Mi to put the aster flowers in the vase?

Answer: Ko Ko did not want Mi Mi to put the aster flowers in the vase because he had hidden the rice cakes in it.

(d) The visitors often heard a growling sound which they thought was made by a rat. What was it actually?

Answer: The growling sound was actually Ko Ko’s stomach growling with hunger.

(C) Answer the following questions briefly

(a) How did Ko Ko get rid of Nyi Nyi?

Answer: Ko Ko got rid of Nyi Nyi by lying that their radio was also out of order, prompting Nyi Nyi to leave to listen to an important announcement elsewhere.

(b) What lie did Ko Ko tell to Mi Mi for his delay in opening the door?

Answer: Ko Ko lied to Mi Mi that the delay in opening the door was because he had just finished his breakfast and was rinsing his mouth.

(c) “Yes good luck for you but bad luck for me.” Why does Ko Ko say so?

Answer: Ko Ko says this because while Tin Soe was lucky to get to eat the banana fritters, it was bad luck for Ko Ko as he couldn’t eat them due to his lie about being too full.

(d) Why did U Ba Tun visit Ko Ko’s place?

Answer: U Ba Tun visited Ko Ko’s place to exchange a flower vase. He brought a blue vase to replace the pink one Ko Ko’s mother had bought, as she initially wanted a blue vase.

(e) ‘……… Goodbye RICE CAKES.’ Why did Ko Ko say so?

Answer: Ko Ko said “Goodbye RICE CAKES” because the rice cakes he had hidden in the pink vase were taken away unknowingly by U Ba Tun when he exchanged it for the blue vase.

(D) Answer the following questions in about 80 words

(i) “Oh how I have to lie to save my rice cakes!” said Ko Ko. Write how Ko Ko had to lie for his rice cakes?

Answer: Ko Ko had to fabricate multiple lies to protect his rice cakes. Initially, he lied to Nyi Nyi about their radio being out of order to prevent him from discovering the hidden cakes. Then, he deceived Mi Mi by claiming he had already eaten all the cakes and was too full for her banana fritters. He further lied about being allergic to aster flowers to prevent Mi Mi from discovering the cakes hidden in the vase. His series of lies were all to keep his coveted rice cakes to himself.

(ii) Bring out the moral of the story.

Answer: The moral of the story is that greed and dishonesty can lead to unfortunate consequences. Ko Ko’s continuous lying to protect his rice cakes ultimately resulted in him missing out on both the cakes and the banana fritters. His deceit not only deprived him of a shared joy with his friends but also left him hungry and unsatisfied. The story highlights the importance of honesty and the negative impacts of selfishness and deceit.

Think and Answer

(a) Suppose Ko Ko had not lied when Nyi Nyi came. What would have been the sequence of events? Discuss in your group for presentation to the whole class.

Answer: If Ko Ko had not lied to Nyi Nyi, the sequence of events would have been different. Nyi Nyi would have stayed to listen to the radio, possibly sharing the rice cakes with Ko Ko. This would have created a friendly atmosphere, fostering sharing and camaraderie. The lies Ko Ko told later to Mi Mi and others wouldn’t have been necessary, leading to a more honest and open interaction with his friends. The story would then focus on friendship and sharing rather than deceit and the consequences of lying.

(b) Here is a list of the events that had happened in Ko Ko’s house that morning. But they are not in their proper sequence. Arrange them in their proper sequence.

Answer: The correct sequence of events in Ko Ko’s house that morning is: (i) Ko Ko is about to eat breakfast, (ii) Nyi Nyi comes and knocks at the door, (iii) Ko Ko hides rice cakes behind the radio, (iv) Mi Mi comes and knocks at the door, (v) Ko Ko hides his rice cakes in the vase, (vi) Tin Soe comes bringing some asters, (vii) Ko Ko tells his mother is allergic to aster, and (viii) U Ba Tun turns up. This sequence showcases the progression of Ko Ko’s actions and the successive arrivals of his friends, leading to the culmination of the story.


Fill in the blanks in each of the following sentences with the words given in the box :

allergy, glutton, rash, rinse, delicious, vase, growling

I. After you eat your meal ____ your mouth.

Answer: rinse

II. The oranges of Tamenglong taste _______.

Answer: delicious

III. Can you hear how the tigers are _____.

Answer: growling

IV. A _____ is sure to end up in shame.

Answer: glutton

V. Something must be wrong with the man. His body is covered with _____.

Answer: rash

VI. If you eat or touch something that does not suit you, you may have _____.

Answer: allergy

VII. I want to buy a flower _____ for my mother.

Answer: vase

Extra MCQs

1. What was Ko Ko’s reaction on seeing the rice cakes for breakfast?

A. He was unhappy B. He was thrilled C. He was worried D. He was confused

Answer: B. He was thrilled

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16. What is the main moral of the story?

A. Do not be greedy B. Save food for later C. Welcome guests warmly D. Share your belongings

Answer: A. Do not be greedy

Extra Questions and Answers

1. Why did Ko Ko hide the rice cakes from his friends?

Answer: Ko Ko hid the rice cakes from his friends because he wanted to eat all of them himself and did not want to share them with anyone.

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17. What kind of person do you think Ko Ko was? What could he have done differently in this situation, in your opinion?

Answer: Ko Ko seems to be a selfish child who does not want to share his food even with close friends. While natural to some extent for a child, his elaborate lies show his willingness to disregard relationships for greed. Instead of valuing friends, he risked losing trust through lies. He could have been more generous, enjoying the cakes with friends. Even if he ate first, he could have apologised politely later. Honesty and consideration for others are important qualities he failed at.

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