English CBSE Class 10 NCERT First Flight Chapter 3 Two Stories about Flying Free Solution of Textbook Questions and Answers


(Textbook Questions)



Thinking about the Text

Q 1. Why was the young seagull afraid to fly? Do you think all young birds are afraid to make their first flight, or are some birds more timid than others? Do you think a human baby also finds it a challenge to take its first steps?

Answer: The young seagull was afraid because he did not have experience of flying. It was his first flight. He was not sure if his wings would support him. He was afraid of falling down.

All young birds are afraid to make their first flight. Some birds may be less timid. Thus they quickly learn to fly. Parent birds always support their kids in learning how to fly.

A human baby though very innocent, is afraid of taking her first steps. She watches everybody in her house. His parents also support her. They teach her to walk by holding her hands. Gradually baby starts walking. But she falls many times before becoming confident of herself.



Q 2. “The sight of the food maddened him.” What does this suggest? What compelled the young seagull to finally fly?

Answer: The seagull was very hungry. When he saw food, his hunger increased. He became desperate to eat it.

His mother came near the ledge then stopped close to it. The baby seagull was so hungry that he dived at the food. And he was in the air. Now he had to fly to save his life and he did fly.

His hunger overpowered his fear and he dived at the food. He could not understand that after jumping at the food he would be in the air.

Q 3. “They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly.” Why did the seagull’s father and mother threaten him and cajole him to fly?

Answer: The baby seagull was afraid of flying. His parents had tried to motivate him but he did not make any attempt to fly.

His parent knew that the baby seagull would not grow and live on his own unless he learnt flying. So they were making efforts to make the baby seagull fly.



Q 4. Have you ever had a similar experience, where your parents encouraged you to do something that you were too scared to try? Discuss this in pairs or groups.

Answer: Following is representative answer. Student can write different experience / incident.

I was in class seven when my father got transferred to another town. In our street there was a black dog. It looked so fierce. It used to bark at every passersby. I did not dare to walk alone in the street.

My father gave me a stick and asked me to hit the dog if it came near me. Somehow I walked through the street. When the dog came near me, I waved the stick towards it. It did not come near me but kept barking. Somehow I reached my friends’ house. This became my routine.

Once while crossing the street I observed that the dog was sleeping. It was a relief for me. Suddenly I saw a parrot in the street. I kept on walking while looking at the parrot. I was so intently watching it that I missed my steps and I fell on that black dog. The dog got scared and ran away. I was surprised.

After that incident, the dog never barked at me but always ran away from me. Now the dog was afraid of me.

My parents were happy that I had overcome my fear.

Q 5. In the case of a bird flying, it seems a natural act, and a foregone conclusion that it should succeed. In the examples you have given in answer to the previous question, was your success guaranteed, or was it important for you to try, regardless of a possibility of failure?

Answer: In the attempt that I had made, there were chances of failure. If the dog did not stop coming near to me, after looking at the stick the whole exercise would have been a failure. I was not sure if this trick would succeed. My parents supported me. In fact the first day my father was walking a little behind me to support me. I surely wanted to go to my friends’ house to play.

Thus it was important for me to make an attempt. Finally I had succeeded.




Thinking about the Text

Q 1. “I’ll take the risk.” What is the risk? Why does the narrator take it?

Answer: The risk was of flying through the clouds of storm. It is difficult to fly in the storm. Sometimes planes get crashed.

The pilot wanted to reach home as soon as possible. Hence he took the risk.

Q 2. Describe the narrator’s experience as he flew the aeroplane into the storm.

Answer: When pilot entered the storm his plane started jumping and twisting. He could not see anything. His compass and radio stopped working. Suddenly he saw an aeroplane in front of him. The other pilot waved at him to follow his plane. That plane guided him through the storm. Finally he safely landed at an airport.

Q 3. Why does the narrator say, “I landed and was not sorry to walk away from the old Dakota…”?

Answer: He was relieved that he had come out of the storm without any damage to himself or his plane. He had also made a safe landing before his fuel was completely exhausted.

He was happy on these accounts and hence made this statement.

Q 4. What made the woman in the control centre look at the narrator strangely?

Answer: The narrator requested the woman at the control room to tell him about the other aeroplane and its pilot. The narrator wanted to thank the other pilot.

The woman looked at the narrator strangely because no other plane was flying during that time.

Q 5. Who do you think helped the narrator to reach safely? Discuss this among yourselves and give reasons for your answer.

Answer: The woman had confirmed that no other plane was in the sky. Narrator was determined to get out of the storm. The narrator was able to come out of the storm because of his strong will power and his skill of flying.

It was simply his imagination that he saw another plane.

Thinking about language

  1. Now, try to guess the meanings of the word ‘black’ in the sentences given below. Check the meanings in the dictionary and find out whether you have guessed right.
  2. Go and have a bath; your hands and face are absolutely black.

The word black in this sentence means black colour

2. The taxi-driver gave Ratan a black look as he crossed the road when the traffic light was green.

The word black in this sentence mean an angry look.

3. The bombardment of Hiroshima is one of the blackest crimes against humanity.

The word blackest in this sentence mean the most cruel and shameful act.

4. Very few people enjoy Harold Pinter’s black comedy.

The phrase ‘black comedy’ means presentation of a serious matter in humourous and light manner.

5. Sometimes shopkeepers store essential goods to create false scarcity and then sell these in black.

In this sentence the word black means to sell illegally at high price.

6. Villagers had beaten the criminal black and blue.

In this sentence the phrase ‘beaten black and blue’ means that the criminal was severely beaten and he suffered injuries all over his body.

  1. Match the phrases given under Column A with their meanings given under Column B:


A B(answer)
Fly a flag Display a flag on long pole
Fly into rage Become suddenly very angry
Fly along Move quickly / suddenly
Fly high Be successful
Fly the coop Escape from a place
    1. We know that the word ‘fly’ (of birds/insects) means to move through air using wings. Write ‘Yes’ against  the words which have the same or nearly the same meaning.


    Word Answer
    Swoop Yes
    Flit Yes
    Flutter Yes
    Ascend Yes
    Float Yes
    Skim yes
    Dart Yes
    Hover Yes
    Glide Yes
    Descend Yes
    Soar Yes
    Sail Yes
    Flap  Yes



    (Text book questions)

    Thinking about the Poem

    Q 1. Does ‘dyin’ really rhyme with ‘lion’? Can you say it in such a way that it does?

    Answer: The word ‘dying’ does not rhyme with ‘lion’. Closest to the meaning and rhyme is ‘dyin’. Hence it has been used.

    Q 2. How does the poet suggest that you identify the lion and the tiger? When can you do so, according to him?

    Answer: The lion is a large and tawny animal which may advance towards us. We can identify it by its roar that can frighten us to death.

    The tiger is a yellow beast with black stripes on it. It will eat us as soon as it sees us.

    Q 3. Do you think the words ‘lept‘ and ‘lep’ in the third stanza are spelt correctly? Why does the poet spell them like this?

    Answer: No, these words have not been spelt correctly. Poet has used these spellings to rhyme with other word of poem. When spelt is used in this way, these words rhyme with ‘leapoard’.

    Q 4. Do you know what a ‘bearhug’ is? It’s a friendly and strong hug — such as bears are thought to give, as they attack you! Again, hyenas are thought to laugh, and crocodiles to weep (‘crocodile tears’) as they swallow their victims. Are there similar expressions and popular ideas about wild animals in your own language(s)?

    Students should answer this question on their own.

    Q 5. Look at the line “A novice might nonplus”. How would you write this ‘correctly’? Why is the poet’s ‘incorrect’ line better in the poem?

    Answer: The correct line could be ‘A novice may become nonplussed’.

    But this line does create a good rhyme. The poet has used this line differently in the poem to match the rhyme of the stanza.

    Q 6. Can you find other examples of poets taking liberties with language, either in English or in your own language(s)? Can you find examples of humorous poems in your own language(s)?

    Answer: Some liberty in the poem with respect to language and grammar is taken in many poems. Some of the examples could be

    1. Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

    2. And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;

    These examples are of English language. Students can pick up examples in their language on their own.

    Q 7. Much of the humour in the poem arises from the way language is used, although the ideas are funny as well. If there are particular lines in the poem that you especially like, share these with the class, speaking briefly about what it is about the ideas or the language that you like or find funny.

    Students should answer this question themselves. Some of the examples could be

    1. If he roars at you as you’re dyin’

    You’ll know it is the Asian Lion…

    If you are dying, what is the use of identify an animal.

    2. Just notice if he eats you.

    This simple rule may help you learn

    The Bengal Tiger to discern.

    If it has already eaten you, how you can identify it.

    3. The Crocodile you always may

    Tell from the Hyena thus:

    Hyenas come with merry smiles;

    But if they weep they’re Crocodiles.

    A crocodile weeps while eating is quite funny



    (Text book questions)

    Thinking about the Poem

    Q 1. Why does the poet say, “I would not intrude on him”? Why doesn’t he offer him money to buy another ball?

    Answer: The boy is deeply thinking about his loss. The poet does not want to disturb his thoughts.

    The poet does not offer any money to him so that the boy learns that in life sometimes one needs to bear a loss.

    Q 2. “… staring down/All his young days into the harbour where/His ball went …” Do you think the boy has had the ball for a long time? Is it linked to the memories of days when he played with it?

    Answer: Yes, it appears that the ball has been with the boy since his childhood days. His memories of childhood when he used to play with the ball is linked with the ball. All his childhood memories have gone into the water pool with the ball.

    Q 3. What does “in the world of possessions” mean?

    Answer: It means that people in the world like to buy many things. The world believes in materialistic aspect of living. But money is only an external aspect because it cannot buy happiness and belongingness.

    Q 4. Do you think the boy has lost anything earlier? Pick out the words that suggest the answer.

    Answer: No, the boy had not lost anything earlier. ‘He senses first responsibility’ and ‘he is learning’ are two lines which indicate that it was his first loss.

    Q 5. What does the poet say the boy is learning from the loss of the ball? Try to explain this in your own words.

    Answer: According to poet, the boy is learning to tolerate a loss.

    Many things in this life are lost forever. He is learning that in this materialistic world there are several emotional losses. Such losses can never be made up.

    Q 6. Have you ever lost something you liked very much? Write a paragraph describing how you felt then, and saying whether — and how — you got over your loss.

    Answer: When I was in class six, my father had gifted me a bicycle on my birthday. I used to go to school on it. This bicycle was very helpful when my parents used to ask me to buy vegetables and grocery. I was learning lessons of life while shopping household items. It was a joy to commute to my school independently. I even used to go to playground near my house on my bicycle.

    Two years later, as usual, I had parked my bicycle at the playground. When I returned from the field I did not find my bicycle there. My friends told me that probably it was stolen. I nearly cried but held my emotions. I reached home and started crying. I told my parents that my bicycle was stolen.

    We went to police station to lodge a complaint. But the bicycle could not be found.

    Even today I feel sad when I recall the loss of my first bicycle.



    Important Links
    Two Stories about Flying – Explanation Two Stories about Flying – Extra Q&A
    Nelson Mandela – Explanation From the Diary of Anne Frank – Explanation
    Nelson Mandela – Textbook Q&A From the Diary of Anne Frank – Textbook Q&A
    Nelson Mandela – Extra Q&A From the Diary of Anne Frank – Extra Q&A
    Re-arrange Exercises Error Finding Exercises
    Active-Passive Rules Gap Filling Exercises
    Passages Direct-Indirect Speech Rules
    Story Writing Tips Letter Writing



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