The Thief’s Story Class 10: Top Questions and Answers for Exam Preparation

If you're a Class 10 student studying English, you may be familiar with the short story from Footprints without Feet Chapter 2 The Thief's Story by Ruskin Bond. To help you prepare for your exam, we've compiled a list of important questions and answers that cover the key themes, characters, and plot points of this classic tale. You can download pdf of these questions answers.

the thiefs story class 10 important questions answers

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Chapter NameThe Thief's Story
Chapter No. 2
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Book NameFootprints Without Feet

"अपनी कमजोरियों को अपनी ताक़त बनाओ। इसीलिए की जब वो बदलेंगी, तो कुछ अद्भुत होगा।"

- नीति विश्वकर्मा

The Thief's Story Class 10 Important Questions and Answers

Q. No. 1. Anil was watching a wrestling match when I approached him. He was about 25-- a tall, lean fellow – and he looked easy-going, kind, and simple enough for my purpose. I hadn’t had much luck of late and thought I might be able to get into the young man’s confidence.

‘You look a bit of a wrestler yourself,” I said. A little flattery helps in making friends.

i. According to the extract, the young boy was watching the wrestling match because he

a. had been invited there by the wrestlers.

b. was supposed to meet someone there.

c. was looking for simple people to dupe.

d. loved wrestling and followed it very closely.

Ans. Option (c)

ii. ‘I hadn’t had much luck of late’ means that the boy hadn’t

a. ever conned people successfully.

b. been successful in duping people lately.

c. understood the consequences of thievery to date.

d. considered the role of fate in deceiving others.

Ans. Option (b)

iii. ‘I might be able to get into the young man’s confidence.’

Choose the option that DOES NOT display what the statement means.

a. He wanted to win his trust.

b. He wanted him to share his thoughts without caution.

c. He wanted him to feel comfortable revealing more details about himself.

d. He wanted to be able to spend quality time with him.

Ans. Option (d)

iv. Anil looked easy-going, kind, and simple to the narrator.

Which of the given characteristics would NOT fit in with this description?

a. compassionate

b. suave

c. uncomplicated

d. Carefree

Ans. Option (b)

v. Based on the line, “A little flattery helps in making friends.”, choose the option that displays the quote closest in meaning.

a. Imitation is the best form of flattery; people generally understand that my comedy is not intended to hurt anybody

b. I know imitation is the highest form of flattery, but stealing one's identity is totally different.

c. Nothing is so great an example of bad manners as flattery. If you flatter all the company, you please none; If you flatter only one or two, you offend the rest.

d. One may define flattery as a base companionship that is most advantageous to the flatterer.

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 2) Read the given extract to attempt the questions that follow:

I was still a thief when I met Anil. And though only 15, I was an experienced and fairly successful hand. Anil was watching a wrestling match when I approached him. He was about 25; a tall, lean fellow; and he looked easy-going, kind, and simple enough for my purpose. I hadn't had much luck of late and thought I might be able to get into the young man's confidence.

"You look a bit of a wrestler yourself," I said. A little flattery helps in making friends.

"So do you," he replied, which put me off for a moment because at that time I was rather thin.

"Well," I said modestly, "I do wrestle a bit."

"What's your name?"

"Hari Singh," I lied. I took a new name every month. That kept me ahead of the police and my former employers.

(The Thief’s Story)

i. I might be able to get into the young man’s confidence.

Based on the line above, we can say that Hari wanted to __________.

a. reduce Anil's confidence to dupe him

b. impress Anil with his confidence

c. gain Anil's trust to exploit him

d. trust Anil with protecting him

Ans. Option (c)

ii. Which of these sentences shows the correct usage of the word 'modestly' as used in the extract?

a. The profits of our company have grown modestly over the last year.

b.Ryan always modestly shrugs off the compliments from people.

c. We're looking to buy a modestly furnished apartment.

d. It's not advisable to dress modestly during winter.

Ans. Option (b)

iii. Which of these about the narrator CANNOT be inferred from the extract?

a. He was a lean fellow.

b. He was fond of wrestling.

c. He was good at making friends.

d. He had ways to avoid being arrested.

Ans. Option (b)

iv. Hari had __________ before encountering Anil.

a. just been released from jail

b. tried to pull off a big robbery

c. had a successful career as a thief

d. been unsuccessful for some time

Ans. Option (d)

v. He was about 25 — a tall, lean fellow — and he looked easy-going, kind, and simple enough for my purpose.

The reason that the narrator says the above line is because he felt that __________.

a. it would be easy for him to manipulate Anil

b. he could learn a lot about wrestling from Anil

c. Anil could help him avoid being caught by the police

d. it would be easy for him to convince Anil to cook for him

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 3) Read the given extract to attempt the questions that follow:

I followed casually.

“Hello again,” he said.

I gave him my most appealing smile. “I want to work for you,” I said.

“But I can’t pay you.” I thought that over for a minute. Perhaps I had misjudged my man.

I asked, “Can you feed me?”

“Can you cook?”

“I can cook,” I lied again.

“If you can cook, then maybe I can feed you.”

He took me to his room over the Jumna Sweet Shop and told me I could sleep on the balcony. But the meal I cooked that night must have been terrible because Anil gave it to a stray dog and told me to be off. But I just hung around, smiling in my most appealing way, and he couldn’t help laughing.

(The Thief’s Story)

i. Even though Hari Singh followed Anil casually, it was a/an …………………

a. careless action.

b. staged move.

c. unusual decision.

d. bold step.

Ans. Option (b)

ii. From the following options, identify Hari Singh’s intention behind the appealing smile.

a. Deceit

b. Harm

c. Hatred

d. Jealousy

Ans. Option (a)

iii. Select the option listing Anil’s characteristics, as revealed in the extract.

  1. unassuming
  2. kind
  3. determined
  4. naïve
  5. humourous

a. (2) and (3)

b. Only (5)

c. (1), (2), and (4)

d. Only (2)

Ans. Option (c)

iv. Select the most appropriate option based on (1) and (2).

  1. Anil gave his meal to a stray dog.
  2. Hari Singh did not know how to cook.

a. (2) is true and (1) is false.

b. (2) is the result for (1).

c. (2) is the cause for (1).

d. (2) is false and (1) is true.

Ans. Option (c)

v. The phrase hung around suggests that Hari Singh continued to………….

a. smile.

b. cook.

c. appeal.

d. linger.

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 4) I think he knew I made a little money this way but he did not seem to mind. Anil made money by fits and starts. He would borrow one week, and lend the next. He kept worrying about his next cheque, but as soon as it arrived, he would go out and celebrate. It seems he wrote for magazines—a queer way to make a living!

i. Anil made money ‘by fits and starts’ means that he

a. deemed it fit to start investing money.

b. started earning money in the recent past.

c. received money intermittently.

d. put his money to use frequently.

Ans. Option (c)

ii. The information in the extract suggests that Anil could be a

a. salaried professional

b. freelancer

c. businessman

d. volunteer

Ans. Option (b)

iii. If borrow: : lend, then pick the ODD pair from the options below

a. give: : take

b. lose: : find

c. hop: : skip

d. buy: : sell

Ans. Option (c)

iv. The reference to making a little money ‘this way’ refers to a way that is viewed by most people as

a. sensible.

b. inappropriate.

c. charitable.

d. Aggressive

Ans. Option (c)

v. Based on your understanding of Anil in the extract, choose the option that synchronizes with his thinking.

a. So what if I don’t have much money? Giving it to that person is important as they could do with a helping hand.

b. I better learn how to protect my money. I think I’m being looted.

c. I earn money with such tremendous effort. Where does it all go?

d. When I become rich, I can begin to help friends then. Right now, I will spend only on myself.

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 5. Anil’s carelessness made stealing from him _____________for Hari Singh.

a. uninteresting

b. difficult

c. systematic

d. predictable

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 6. The narrator followed Anil ‘casually’. Why?

Ans. The narrator followed Anil 'casually' because he was intrigued by Anil's behavior. The narrator, being a thief himself, noticed that Anil appeared to be a potential target due to his innocence and naivety. The narrator's curiosity was aroused, and he wanted to observe Anil's actions and lifestyle further to assess whether he could potentially steal from him. By following Anil casually, the narrator could gather more information about him and plan his course of action accordingly.

Q. No. 7. What was the thought behind using appealing smiles frequently on Anil?

Ans. The thought behind using appealing smiles frequently on Anil was to gain his trust and manipulate him into revealing valuable information or becoming more vulnerable to the narrator's intentions.

Q. No. 8. Why did Hari Singh think that Anil’s job was queer?

Ans. Anil contributed to magazines, wrote for a living, and didn’t earn much, difficult for Hari Singh to understand his profession.

Q. No. 9. How do you think the narrator made a profit of about a rupee a day?

Ans. The narrator likely made a profit of about a rupee a day by stealing small items, pickpocketing, or engaging in petty thefts, accumulating small amounts over time.

Q. No. 10. Hari Singh is both a thief and a human being. Explain.

Ans. No doubt Hari is a thief as well as a good human being. Situations compel a person to become either beast or remain a human being. Even the goodness and nobility of a person change anyone’s heart and mind.

Q. No. 11. Why do you think the young thief had quite a few scars on his face?

Ans. The young thief in "The Thief's Story" likely had quite a few scars on his face due to his involvement in criminal activities. Engaging in theft and living a risky lifestyle might have resulted in confrontations, fights, or encounters with authorities or other criminals, leading to the accumulation of scars on his face.

Q. No. 12. It’s not easy to be mean to people who are very nice to you. Do you think that the young thief had to work on giving himself valid reasons to be able to commit the theft? Or did the thieving come as naturally to him this time, too? Write a brief analysis of his mood before the theft.

Ans. Before the theft in "The Thief's Story," the young thief likely had to work on giving himself valid reasons to justify his actions. Despite acknowledging that it is difficult to be mean to kind people, the temptation of stealing and the potential gains might have overridden his moral qualms. His mood could have been a mix of conflicting emotions, including guilt, rationalization, and a sense of urgency to fulfill his needs, ultimately leading him to convince himself that the thieving came as a necessary means to survive.

Q. No. 13. Why do you think the narrator used to feel that ‘friends were more trouble than help’? What could have led him to believe this?

Ans. The narrator likely felt that 'friends were more trouble than help' due to past experiences where trusting others had resulted in betrayal or complications. Perhaps he had been betrayed by previous companions or had witnessed the consequences of relying on others, leading him to believe that friendships brought more trouble than assistance in his line of work as a thief.

Q. No. 14. At the end of the story, we realize that Anil knew about the incident of the previous night, yet he chose to overlook such a breach of trust. Explain.

Ans. At the end of the story, it becomes clear that Anil knew about the narrator's theft from his own room the previous night. However, Anil chose to overlook this breach of trust because he had developed genuine affection and empathy for the young thief. Anil recognized that the thief was desperate and had resorted to stealing out of necessity rather than malice. Instead of condemning him, Anil chose to show compassion and forgiveness, understanding that sometimes circumstances push people to make regrettable choices.

Q. No. 15. A character arc is the transformation or development of a character throughout a story and refers to the changes a character undergoes as a result of their experiences, challenges, and interactions with other characters.

In light of the above information, trace the character arc of the thief in Ruskin Bond’s The Thief’s Story, in about 120 words.

Ans. The thief's character arc in the story shows a transformation from a career criminal to a person who learns to trust and work hard for a living.

  • At the beginning of the story, the thief is portrayed as an experienced criminal who is focused on staying ahead of the law.
  • He is initially attracted to Anil because he believes he can exploit the young man's trusting nature.
  • As the story progresses, the thief begins to develop a friendship with Anil, who teaches him how to cook, write and read.
  • This transformation of the thief's character reaches a climax when he is presented with an opportunity to steal money from Anil, but instead chooses to resist the temptation and considers the consequences of his actions.
  • This is a significant change from the beginning of the story when the thief was only interested in self-gain.
  • Although the thief has not completely abandoned his criminal ways, the fact that he hesitated to jump on the train to escape with the stolen money shows that he has developed a moral conscience.

The story implies that the thief has realized that a life of crime is not fulfilling and that he is now open to exploring new opportunities for a better life.

[It can also be observed that the thief struggles with his own moral compass throughout the narrative. At first, he is solely focused on his own personal gain and uses his skills as a thief to achieve this. However, as he begins working for Anil and starts to develop a relationship with him, he becomes conflicted about his intentions to steal from him. Ultimately, he succumbs to his desire for money and steals from Anil, but he also feels guilt and remorse afterward. This internal conflict highlights the thief's character growth and change throughout the story.]

Q. No. 16. Fiction writers prefer creating grey characters rather than black and white. Analyze this in detail, with reference to both the characters of The Thief’s Story.

Ans. Introductory

  • Both characters in the story—neither completely black (negative) nor white (ideal)—have to redeem qualities as well as those that need improvement—the story reveals both their personas as grey.

Hari Singh

  • Thief—artful - too smart for his age - fooled his victims and police --Wasn’t ashamed in lying and stealing –made no efforts to confess that he had given in to the temptation of stealing the notes


  • Changed due to love, affection, and Anil’s trust
  • The character of Hari Singh—not a flat character who is either black or white.


  • While we can admire Anil for his qualities --helpful and simple --easily trusting --forgave the thief -- never uttered a word despite knowledge of the theft


Not perfect--casual about money --ignored Hari Singh’s pilfering

The character of Hari Singh—not a flat character who is either black or white.

Conclusion—Grey characters present a challenge to the readers, allow a sense of unpredictability and present a moral challenge. Hari Singh and Anil are created as grey characters.

Q. No. 17. Based on the given context, write a diary entry, as the narrator, on what you experienced and the possible reason for it.

I should have been able to jump into one of the carriages, but I hesitated — for some reason, I can’t explain — and I lost the chance to get away.


Dear Diary,

Today was a day filled with missed opportunities and lingering regrets. I had the perfect chance to escape when those carriages passed by, but something inexplicable held me back. It was as if a sudden surge of uncertainty and doubt paralyzed me at that crucial moment. I desperately wanted to seize my freedom, to disappear into the unknown, yet hesitation gripped me tightly.

Reflecting upon it now, I believe fear played a significant role. Fear of the unknown, fear of what awaited me outside the confines of my thieving life. The comfort of familiarity, no matter how flawed, seemed strangely preferable to the uncertainty of what lay beyond. The lure of freedom clashed with the weight of apprehension, leading to a momentary lapse in my resolve.

Oh, how I regret my indecision! That missed opportunity haunts me, serving as a reminder of the fleeting nature of chances in my line of work. But I must learn from this experience, Diary, and resolve to trust my instincts and overcome any hesitation that may hinder my path to a new life.

Yours sincerely,
The Narrator

Q. No.18. Hari Singh says- “He knew it but neither his lips nor his eyes showed anything.”

Anil successfully addressed the situation by not addressing it at all. Elaborate based on your reading of The Thief’s Story.

Ans. In "The Thief's Story," Anil successfully addressed the situation of the stolen money by choosing not to address it at all. Despite being aware that the notes were damp, indicating they had been taken, Anil decided to remain silent about the matter. Instead, he pretended that everything was normal, not letting his lips or eyes reveal any suspicion or accusation.

Anil's response demonstrates his understanding and compassion toward the young thief, Hari Singh. He recognized that Hari Singh's honesty had ultimately prevailed over his temptation. By not discussing the theft, Anil showed his desire to reward and encourage Hari Singh's newfound integrity. Bringing up the incident would have only been counterproductive, possibly leading to confrontation or tarnishing the progress made in their relationship.

Anil's decision to let the matter slide reflects his wisdom and forgiveness, allowing for a fresh start and the potential for positive change in Hari Singh's life.

Q. No.19. Education means different things to different people. Evaluate how it impacted the young thief in the story.

Ans. Education played a significant role in shaping the young thief's life in "The Thief's Story." While formal education may not have been a part of his life, the thief's encounters with Anil and exposure to books had a transformative impact on him.

Through his interactions with Anil, the thief gained valuable life lessons and a glimpse into a different way of living. Anil's kindness, trust, and moral values instilled a sense of empathy and honesty within the thief. The thief's perception of the world expanded, and he began to question his own choices and desires.

Furthermore, the thief's engagement with books opened up new avenues of knowledge and self-reflection. Reading influenced his perspective, enabling him to imagine a different future for himself and aspire to a life beyond thieving. Education, in this broader sense, empowered the young thief to break free from the limitations of his circumstances and seek a path of personal growth and transformation.

Must Read:
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Class 10 Important Questions

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