Chapter 5: Cymbril’s Discovery
1. Why do you think Cymbril turns herself in after her “crime” instead of trying to hide?
2. Miwa the cat seems to understand Cymbril well and sympathize with her. Have you ever known or seen an animal that seemed surprisingly wise or intelligent? What did the animal do? Tell about the situation.
3. List four or five details from pages 59-60 that show us how angry Master Rombol is.
4. This chapter is titled “Cymbril’s Discovery.” What is the discovery? What surprising truth does Cymbril find out?
5. Why does Rombol carve an X into the floor?
6. Who ordered the building of the Thunder Rake?
7. Part of the fun of reading a story is trying to imagine what will happen. Why do you think the fat frog is always watching Cymbril? Can you dream up a reason? (Don’t worry if your idea seems to be a wild stretch of the imagination!) You may want to write your idea on a piece of paper. Perhaps everyone in the class could do this, and the teacher could collect all the papers to seal inside an envelope labeled: “Why is the frog watching?” When you’ve finished reading the book, open the envelope and see if anyone was right. And enjoy the variety of ideas everyone had!
8. Again, there’s a difference in values in this chapter. What do the Curdlebree sisters value, and how is that different from Cymbril’s attitude toward the same thing? (Hint: See pages 64-65.)
9. In the poem on page 65, the words yew, jerkin, mantle, and steed may be unfamiliar. Please write the definitions for them. And here’s a riddle: What do those four words all have in common? (Hint: They have it in common with “riddle” itself!)
10. How are the Armfolk treated differently from the slaves on the Rake?
Essay Idea 1: On page 56, there is a description of Rombol’s dragon chair. If you could create your own chair in any size or shape, out of any materials, what would it be like? Describe the seat, the arms, the back, the legs and cushions (if any). Where would you place your chair – in a bed of moonthistles, like Rombol, or somewhere else? And what would you do in your chair? When would you sit there? (You may want to draw a picture to go with your essay.)
Essay Idea 2: Re-read pages 59-60. Rombol is feeling a strong emotion. Please imagine and write a scene showing some other character feeling another (different) powerful emotion. (It could be another character from this book, a character from another story, or someone you make up.) The key is, don’t tell us the emotion. Don’t write “surprised” or “nervous,” etc. Instead, show us what the character is feeling through the person’s actions, appearance, and perhaps some spoken lines.