Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are printed in BOLD to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.
Once upon a time there lived a queen in the city of Banaras. Her name was Khema and she was the wife of king Bahuputtaka. One night, the Queen had a dream of beautiful golden goose that spoke with great wisdom, almost as if he were a sage. She told her husband that she desperately wanted to see a bird just like the one in her dream. So the king asked his ministers to find out all that they could about a bird such as this. He was told that such a bird did exist but was extremely rare and difficult to find. They advised him to build a beautiful lake on the outskirts of Banaras so that he may attract such rare and lovely creatures to reside there. In this way the queen might have her wish.
Towards the north, on Mount Cittakuta, there lived about ninety thousand wild geese headed by a beautiful golden goose called King Dhatarattha. He got to hear of this exquisite lake surrounded by water lilies and lotuses floating on the surface. The King had invited all the birds to come and live on it, promising that none of them would ever be harmed. Corn was scattered on a daily basis in order to attract the birds. So a couple of geese went up to their King, the golden goose and told him that they were quite tired of living up on the mountains and would like to see this wonderful lake where they had been promised food and protection. The king agreed to their request and took the flock down south towards Banaras. Meanwhile, at the lake king Bahuputtaka had placed hunters all around in order to capture any golden goose that happened to pass by. So the next morning when the headhunter saw this flock of geese approaching he was very excited to see their golden leader. He immediately went about setting up a snare amongst the water lilies and lotuses, as he knew that the leader would definitely be the first to alight.
The whole flock came flying down in one mighty swoop and as expected it was the King’s foot that touched the water first. He was ensnared and could not escape. Seeing this, the other geese flew into a panic. But none had the courage to try to free their king and so flew back to Mount Cittakuta for safety, all except one. He was the chief captain Sumukha. King Dhatarattha entreated him to fly to safety too, as he would surely be captured if he stayed by his side. But Sumukha replied that he would never desert his master in the face of danger and would either try to save him or die by his
At this point the hunter approached and as Sumukha saw him he decided to appeal to his compassion. The hunter asked the golden goose how come he had not noticed the trap that was set. The golden goose replied that when one’s time was up it was no use to struggle against what was fated and one must just accept it. The huntsman was very impressed with his grace and wisdom. He then turned to Sumukha and asked why he had not fled with the other birds even though he was free to do so. Sumukha answered that the golden goose was his King, best friend and master and that he could never desert him even at the cost of his own life. Hearing this, the hunter realised that these were a couple of rare birds of great nobility. He did not much care for his own King’s reward and decided to do the right thing and set them free. He told Sumukha that as he was ready to die for his King he would set them both free to fly wherever they wish.
Why did the flock of geese panic and retreat to Mount Cittakuta?