English CBSE Class 10 NCERT First Flight Chapter 3 Two Stories about Flying Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words
TWO STORIES ABOUT FLYING
HIS FIRST FLIGHT
THE young seagull was alone on his ledge. His two brothers and his sister had already flown away the day before. He had been afraid to fly with them.
|Seagull||A type of bird|
|Ledge||A projection of stone, Cliff|
The small seagull (kid of bird) was sitting alone on his cliff. His two brothers and his sister had already flown away from the cliff two days ago. He was afraid to fly so he did not fly with them. So he remained at the cliff.
Somehow when he had taken a little run forward to the brink of the ledge and attempted to flap his wings he became afraid. The great expanse of sea stretched down beneath, and it was such a long way down — miles down.
When he ran up to the edge of the cliff and tried to move his wings, he got frightened. A large area of sea extended below and it was so much below from his ledge. It appeared that sea was many miles down from his ledge.
He felt certain that his wings would never support him; so he bent his head and ran away back to the little hole under the ledge where he slept at night.
He was sure that his wings would not support him to fly. So he turned around and ran back to his small place under the ledge. He used to sleep there during night.
Even when each of his brothers and his little sister, whose wings were far shorter than his own, ran to the brink, flapped their wings, and flew away, he failed to muster up courage to take that plunge which appeared to him so desperate.
|Muster||Gather, Summon, Collect|
|Take the plunge||Decide and do something|
Although each of his brothers and his younger sister had much smaller wings, they ran towards the edge, moved their wings and flew away. But he could not gather enough courage to fly. He thought that he would die if he flew off the ledge.
His father and mother had come around calling to him shrilly, upbraiding him, threatening to let him starve on his ledge unless he flew away. But for the life of him he could not move. That was twenty-four hours ago. Since then nobody had come near him.
|Shrilly||Loudly, High pitched voice|
|Starve||Remain without food|
His parents had come to call him. They were speaking loudly and scolding him. They even threatened him that they would not give him food unless he flew away. But to save his life he did not move. This had happened twenty four hours ago. After that nobody had come near him.
The day before, all day long, he had watched his parents flying about with his brothers and sister, perfecting them in the art of flight, teaching them how to skim the waves and how to dive for fish.
|Perfecting||Learning more to become perfect|
Two days ago, for the whole day he had seen that his parents were flying with his brothers and sisters. His brothers and sister were learning more about the art of flying. His parents were teaching them how to float on the waves and how to dive in the water to catch a fish.
He had, in fact, seen his older brother catch his first herring and devour it, standing on a rock, while his parents circled around raising a proud cackle. And all the morning the whole family had walked about on the big plateau midway down the opposite cliff taunting him with his cowardice.
|Herring||A type of fish|
|Devour||Eat greedily and quickly|
|Cackle||Speak loudly, Laugh loudly|
|Plateau||A level surface on a hill|
|Cowardice||Act of being coward|
He had seen how his elder brothers caught their first herring fish. Then they stood on a rock and ate it eagerly. His parents were flying around them and were making a loud sound of happiness. Throughout the morning, the full family had been walking on a big platform which was at mid height between his ledge and sea. They were teasing him for being coward.
The sun was now ascending the sky, blazing on his ledge that faced the south. He felt the heat because he had not eaten since the previous nightfall.
|Blazing||Very hot, Burning|
Now the sun had started rising in the sky. This caused lot of heat on his ledge. His ledge was facing south direction. He felt heat because he had not eaten since last night.
He stepped slowly out to the brink of the ledge, and standing on one leg with the other leg hidden under his wing, he closed one eye, then the other, and pretended to be falling asleep.
He slowly walked up to the edge of his cliff. He stood there on one leg. His other leg was hidden below his wings. He closed his eyes one by one. He acted as if he was sleeping.
Still they took no notice of him. He saw his two brothers and his sister lying on the plateau dozing with their heads sunk into their necks. His father was preening the feathers on his white back.
|Take notice||Pay attention, Look at|
|Preening||Cleaning feathers by beak|
Still nobody paid attention to him. His two brothers and sister were on the plateau. They were sleeping. Their head were touching their necks. His father was cleaning white feathers of his back by his beak.
Only his mother was looking at him. She was standing on a little high hump on the plateau, her white breast thrust forward. Now and again, she tore at a piece of fish that lay at her feet and then scrapped each side of her beak on the rock.
|Now and again||Repeatedly|
Only his mother was looking at him. She was standing on a little hump on the plateau. Repeatedly, she pulled a piece from the fish that was lying at her feet. After eating that piece she rubbed each side of her beak on the rock.
The sight of the food maddened him. How he loved to tear food that way, scrapping his beak now and again to whet it.
By looking at the scene of food, he became mad. [He became more hungry]. He very much liked to pull the food, to again and again rub his beak on the rock to sharpen it.
“Ga, ga, ga,” he cried begging her to bring him some food. “Gaw-col-ah,” she screamed back derisively. But he kept calling plaintively, and after a minute or so he uttered a joyful scream.
|Plaintively||Say with sadness|
He started crying to beg her to bring some food for him. She shouted and teased him. But he kept making requests with sadness. After a minute he spoke and shouted with happiness.
His mother had picked up a piece of the fish and was flying across to him with it. He leaned out eagerly, tapping the rock with his feet, trying to get nearer to her as she flew across.
His mother had picked a piece of fish and she was flying towards him. He bent forward eagerly. He was tapping the rock with his feet. He was trying to come nearer to her as she was flying towards him.
But when she was just opposite to him, she halted, her wings motionless, the piece of fish in her beak almost within reach of his beak. He waited a moment in surprise, wondering why she did not come nearer, and then, maddened by hunger, he dived at the fish.
|Dived||Jumped in air|
But when she was very close to him, she stopped in air. Her wings were not moving. The piece of fish in her beak was very close to him. He waited on the ledge with surprise. He was thinking why she was not coming nearer. Then he was so hungry that he jumped in the air to catch the fish.
With a loud scream he fell outwards and downwards into space. Then a monstrous terror seized him and his heart stood still. He could hear nothing. But it only lasted a minute.
Shouting loudly he fell outwards and downwards into the air. Then a huge terror gripped him. He was very much afraid. His heart stopped beating. He was not able to listen anything. But this happened for a very short time only.
The next moment he felt his wings spread outwards. The wind rushed against his breast feathers, then under his stomach, and against his wings. He could feel the tips of his wings cutting through the air.
Next moment he felt that his wings had spread outwards. The wind was flowing with speed against feather of his chest, stomach and wings. He felt that ends of his wings were pushing the air. [Means had had started moving his wings]
He was not falling headlong now. He was soaring gradually downwards and outwards. He was no longer afraid. He just felt a bit dizzy. Then he flapped his wings once and he soared upwards.
|Dizzy||Feeling of spinning, Giddy|
He was not falling to the ground on his head. He was flying slowly downward and outwards. Now he was not afraid. He felt as if his head was spinning. Then he moved his wings and he flew upwards.
“Ga, ga, ga, Ga, ga, ga, Gaw-col-ah,” his mother swooped past him, her wings making a loud noise. He answered her with another scream. Then his father flew over him screaming. He saw his two brothers and his sister flying around him curveting and banking and soaring and diving.
|Swooped||Rushed, Moved suddenly and quickly|
|Curveting||Flying up and down|
His mother quickly moved ahead of him. Her wings were making a loud noise. He once again made a loud cry. His father made a loud voice while flying near and over him. He saw that his two brothers and sister were also flying close to him. They flew up, they flew down, sometimes they rose up, flew straight and sometimes went down.
Then he completely forgot that he had not always been able to fly, and commended himself to dive and soar and curve, shrieking shrilly.
Then he completely forgot that once he did not know how to fly. He appreciated himself that he was able to fly. He started to dive, soar and make curve. He gave a loud and sharp voice of happiness.
He was near the sea now, flying straight over it, facing straight out over the ocean. He saw a vast green sea beneath him, with little ridges moving over it and he turned his beak sideways and cawed amusedly.
|Cawed||Sound of a bird or crow|
Now he was near the sea. He was flying just above the sea and looking at the sea. He saw very big sea of green colour below him. Small waves were moving in the sea. He turned his beak towards his side and made a sound of happiness.
His parents and his brothers and sister had landed on this green flooring ahead of him. They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly. He dropped his legs to stand on the green sea. His legs sank into it.
His parents, his brothers and his sisters were now sitting on that green sea before he reached there. They were signalling him to come there. He tried to put his legs on the sea to stand. But his legs went into the sea.
He screamed with fright and attempted to rise again flapping his wings. But he was tired and weak with hunger and he could not rise, exhausted by the strange exercise.
He shouted because of fear and tried to rise again by flapping (moving) his wings. But he was very tired and weak because of hunger. He was completely tired because of the strange exercise called flying.
His feet sank into the green sea, and then his belly touched it and he sank no farther. He was floating on it, and around him his family was screaming, praising him and their beaks were offering him scraps of dog-fish.
|Dog fish||A type of fish|
His feet went into the green sea. His stomach touched the sea. He was not sinking now. He was floating on the sea. His family members were around him. They all were shouting and appreciating him. They were offering pieces of dog fish to him in their beaks.
He had made his first flight.
He had flown for the first time. He had taken his first flight.
THE BLACK AEROPLANE
THE moon was coming up in the east, behind me, and stars were shining in the clear sky above me. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was happy to be alone high up above the sleeping countryside.
The moon was rising in the sky in the east direction behind me. The stars were shining in the clear sky above me. There were no clouds in the sky. I was so happy to be alone in the sky while all people in villages were sleeping.
I was flying my old Dakota aeroplane over France back to England. I was dreaming of my holiday and looking forward to being with my family. I looked at my watch: one thirty in the morning.
|Dakota||A type of plane|
|Looking forward||To be eager|
I was flying my old Dakota aeroplane over France. I was going to England. I was thinking about my holidays and was eager to be with my family. The time by my watch was one thirty in the morning. [After midnight]
‘I should call Paris Control soon,’ I thought. As I looked down past the nose of the aeroplane, I saw the lights of a big city in front of me. I switched on the radio and said, “Paris Control, Dakota DS 088 here. Can you hear me? I’m on my way to England. Over.”
I thought that I should call Paris Control room soon. I looked down beyond the nose of the aeroplane. I saw lights of a big city. I switched on my radio (wireless device) and enquired if Paris Control room was able to hear me. I said that I was going to England.
The voice from the radio answered me immediately: “DS 088, I can hear you. You ought to turn twelve degrees west now, DS 088. Over.”
The voice from the radio answered my call immediately. DS 088, I can hear you. Now you must take a 12 degrees turn towards west. DS 088. Over.
I checked the map and the compass, switched over to my second and last fuel tank, and turned the Dakota twelve degrees west towards England. ‘I’ll be in time for breakfast,’ I thought. A good big English breakfast! Everything was going well — it was an easy flight.
I checked my map and the compass. I started taking fuel for the aeroplane from the second and last fuel tank. I turned my Dakota twelve degree west towards England. I thought that I would reach there at the time of breakfast. It will be a nice and big English breakfast. Everything was happening well. It was an easy flight.
Paris was about 150 kilometres behind me when I saw the clouds. Storm clouds. They were huge. They looked like black mountains standing in front of me across the sky. I knew I could not fly up and over them, and I did not have enough fuel to fly around them to the north or south.
When I saw the clouds Paris was 150 KM behind me. These were clouds of storm. They were huge clouds. They looked like black mountains standing in the sky before me. I knew that I could not take my plane above these clouds and fly over them. And I did not have much fuel in the plane to take a turn and go around these clouds.
“I ought to go back to Paris,” I thought, but I wanted to get home. I wanted that breakfast. ‘I’ll take the risk,’ I thought, and flew that old Dakota straight into the storm.
|Wanted to get home||Wanted to reach home|
|Straight into||Directly into|
I thought that I should go back to Paris but I wanted to reach home as soon as possible. I wanted to have breakfast there. So I thought that I would take the risk. I flew my old Dakota plane directly into the storm.
Inside the clouds, everything was suddenly black. It was impossible to see anything outside the aeroplane. The old aeroplane jumped and twisted in the air.
When the plane went into the clouds, suddenly everything became black. It was impossible to see anything outside the plane. The aeroplane jumped and twisted (rotated) in the air.
I looked at the compass. I couldn’t believe my eyes: the compass was turning round and round and round. It was dead. It would not work! The other instruments were suddenly dead, too.
Then I looked at the compass. I could not believe what I saw. The needle of compass was turning round and round. The compass was not working. Suddenly all other instruments also stopped working.
I tried the radio. “Paris Control? Paris Control? Can you hear me?” There was no answer. The radio was dead too. I had no radio, no compass, and I could not see where I was. I was lost in the storm.
I checked the radio [wireless]. I spoke in the radio to contact Paris Control room. There was no answer. The radio was also not working. The compass was not working. I could not see anything. I was lost in the storm.
Then, in the black clouds quite near me, I saw another aeroplane. It had no lights on its wings, but I could see it flying next to me through the storm. I could see the pilot’s face — turned towards me.
|Next to me||Close to me|
Then in the black clouds, very near to me I saw another aeroplane. It did not have lights on its wings but I was able to see it. It was flying close to my plane in the storm. I saw face of the pilot. He was looking at me.
I was very glad to see another person. He lifted one hand and waved. “Follow me,” he was saying. “Follow me.” ‘He knows that I am lost,’ I thought. ‘He’s trying to help me.’
I was very happy to see another person. He lifted his one hand and signalled at me. He was asking me to follow him. I thought that he knew I was lost in the storm. He was trying to help me.
He turned his aeroplane slowly to the north, in front of my Dakota, so that it would be easier for me to follow him. I was very happy to go behind the strange aeroplane like an obedient child.
He turned his plane slowly to north. Now his plane was flying in front of my Dakota. Therefore it was easier for me to follow him. I was very happy to go behind that strange aeroplane. I was behaving like an obedient child.
After half an hour the strange black aeroplane was still there in front of me in the clouds. Now there was only enough fuel in the old Dakota’s last tank to fly for five or ten minutes more. I was starting to feel frightened again. But then he started to go down and I followed through the storm.
After half an hour, we were still in clouds. The strange black aeroplane was flying in front of my plane. Now fuel in my plane was sufficient to fly for five or ten minutes more. I was again getting afraid. At that time, the other plane started going down. And I was moving behind the plane through the storm.
Suddenly I came out of the clouds and saw two long straight lines of lights in front of me. It was a runway! An airport! I was safe! I turned to look for my friend in the black aeroplane, but the sky was empty. There was nothing there. The black aeroplane was gone. I could not see it anywhere.
Suddenly my plane came out of clouds. I saw two long straight line of lights in front of my plane. It was runway of an airport. I was safe now. I tried to look at my friend who was in the black aeroplane. But there was nothing in the sky. The black aeroplane had disappeared. I could not see it anywhere.
I landed and was not sorry to walk away from the old Dakota near the control tower. I went and asked a woman in the control centre where I was and who the other pilot was. I wanted to say ‘Thank you’.
I landed my Dakota on the runway. I was happy to walk away from my old Dakota plane to the control tower. I went in and asked a woman where I was.[Meaning which airport was that] I also asked who the pilot of another plane was. I wanted to say thanks to him.
She looked at me very strangely, and then laughed. “Another aeroplane? Up there in this storm? No other aeroplanes were flying tonight. Yours was the only one I could see on the radar.”
She strangely looked at me and laughed. She said tonight no other aeroplane was flying in the storm. My aeroplane was the only plane she had seen on the radar.
So who helped me to arrive there safely without a compass or a radio, and without any more fuel in my tanks? Who was the pilot on the strange black aeroplane, flying in the storm, without lights?
Then who had helped me to arrive safely without a radio or a compass and without any fuel left in the tank of my plane? Who was the pilot of that strange aeroplane? He was flying in the storm without lights.
HOW TO TELL WILD ANIMALS
If ever you should go by chance
To jungles in the east;
And if there should to you advance
A large and tawny beast,
If he roars at you as you’re dyin’
You’ll know it is the Asian Lion…
|If he roars at you||Personification|
|If he roars at you as you’re dyin’||Repetition|
|If he roars at you as you’re dyin’||Assonance|
|You should go by chance||Assonance|
If, by chance, you go to the jungles of countries of eastern hemisphere, if a yellowish brownish colour animal comes towards you, if he roars and you feel like dying, you should know that the animal is Asian Lion.
The poet is describing Asian Lion. She says that Asian Lion lives in jungles of the countries of eastern hemisphere. It is a big animal. Its colour is yellowish brownish. Its roar is so loud that a weak hearted person can die because of roar only.
Or if some time when roaming round,
A noble wild beast greets you,
With black stripes on a yellow ground,
Just notice if he eats you.
This simple rule may help you learn
The Bengal Tiger to discern.
|sometimes roaming round||Alliteration|
|Or sometimes when roaming round||Assonance|
Roaming around in the jungle sometimes you may see a royal animal with black lines on yellow skin. There is a simple rule to identify this animal. If he eats you, then you can identify it as a Bengal Tiger.
The poet is describing Bengal Tiger. She says this it looks royal. It has black stripes on its yellow body. It is a fierce animal, it can eat you. If it tries to attacks you, then you can identify it as Bengal Tiger. This is slightly humourous way of describing a Bengal Tiger. If it has eaten you, there is no point in identifying it.
If strolling forth, a beast you view,
Whose hide with spots is peppered,
As soon as he has lept on you,
You’ll know it is the Leopard.
’Twill do no good to roar with pain,
He’ll only lep and lep again.
|Peppered||Spots on everywhere|
|As soon as he has lept||Alliteration|
|As soon as he has lept||Personification|
|If strolling forth||Assonance|
|He’ll only lep and lep again||Repetition|
Walking ahead in the jungle, you may see an animal which has black spots all over its skin. And as soon as he jumps on you, you will know that it is a leopard. It will have no meaning in crying with pain, because it will bite you again and again.
Poet is describing a leopard. She says that it has black spots all over its body. She says that as soon as you see it, you will know that it a leopard. It is very quick to act. Once a leopard catches its prey, it does not leave it. So there would be no meaning in shouting and crying with pain if a leopard catches you.
If when you’re walking round your yard
You meet a creature there,
Who hugs you very, very hard,
Be sure it is a Bear.
If you have any doubts, I guess
He’ll give you just one more caress.
|If when you are walking||Alliteration|
|Who hugs you very very hard||Alliteration|
|Who hugs you very very hard||Repetition|
When you are walking around in your garden, you may meet an animal there. It will hug you very tightly. Then you can be sure that it is a bear. If you are in a doubt about it, the bear will hug you once again.
Poet is describing a bear. She says that a bear may not necessarily live in jungle. Sometimes it comes in houses also. It always tries to give a tight hug to others. Then you can be sure that it is a bear. It may hug you many times. The bear hugs it prey and then eats it.
Though to distinguish beasts of prey
A novice might nonplus,
The Crocodile you always may
Tell from the Hyena thus:
Hyenas come with merry smiles;
But if they weep they’re Crocodiles.
|Nonplus||To become confused|
|Beast of prey||Animals who hunt|
|Hyena||A type of animal|
|A novice might nonplus||Alliteration|
|Tell from Hyena thus||Alliteration|
|But if they weep they’re crocodiles||Repetition|
An inexperienced person may get confused in identifying animals who hunt for their food. Hyenas appear to be laughing when eating their prey. While crocodile may appear to be crying while eating their prey.
Poet says that some animal have special characteristics. These may not be known to an inexperienced or a beginner. When a hyena is happy and eating its prey, its voice appears to be a laugh of human beings. While a crocodile may appear to be crying while eating its prey. It is said that tears come out of crocodile’s eyes when it is eating.
The true Chameleon is small,
A lizard sort of thing;
He hasn’t any ears at all,
And not a single wing.
If there is nothing on the tree,
’Tis the chameleon you see.
|He hasn’t any ears at all||Personification|
|He hasn’t any ears at all||Alliteration|
|If there is nothing on the tree,||Alliteration|
A chameleon is a small animal. It looks like a lizard. It does not have ears. It does not have wings. Chameleon changes its colour to match with surroundings. So if one does not see anything on a tree, a chameleon could still be on that tree.
The poet is describing a chameleon. She says that it looks like a lizard. It does not have wings or ears. A chameleon changes it colour according to its surroundings. Hence poet says that it is difficult to locate a chameleon on a tree. Even if you do not see it on a tree, it may still be there on that tree.
THE BALL POEM
What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,
What, what is he to do? I saw it go
Merrily bouncing, down the street, and then
Merrily over — there it is in the water!
|What is the boy now, who has lost his ball,||Alliteration|
|Merrily over — there it is in the water!||Oxymoron|
|What, what is he to do?||Repetition|
The boy was playing in a street. He has been playing happily with a ball. The ball was bouncing again and again. The boy was happy. Then suddenly the ball went into a pool of water. The boy is not able to find the ball. What will the boy now do?
No use to say ‘O there are other balls’:
An ultimate shaking grief fixes the boy
As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down
All his young days into the harbour where
His ball went. I would not intrude on him;
|Harbour||Pool of water|
|As he stands rigid, trembling, staring down||Alliteration|
|All his young days into the harbour where||Alliteration|
|His ball went. I would not intrude on him;||Alliteration|
It was of no use to suggest to buy a new ball. The boy seems to have emotional attachment with his old ball. He is extremely sad at having lost it. He is standing motionless in the street looking at the pool of water. He thinks that all his playful days have gone into the water. I do not have the courage to disturb him in his thinking. I want him to understand that in life sometimes one needs to bear loss also.
A dime, another ball, is worthless. Now
He senses first responsibility
In a world of possessions. People will take
Balls, balls will be lost always, little boy.
|Dime||Small amount of money|
|Worthless||Of small value, Insignificant|
|In a world of possessions. People will take||Alliteration|
|Balls, balls will be lost always, little boy.||Repetition|
|Balls, balls will be lost always, little boy.||Alliteration|
Cost of the ball is very small and insignificant. But now he is feeling the responsibility of taking care of his things. People will say that a new ball can be bought because the world believes in buying materials. But the little boy thinks that the new ball will not be same as his old ball.
And no one buys a ball back. Money is external.
He is learning, well behind his desperate eyes,
The epistemology of loss, how to stand up
Knowing what every man must one day know
And most know many days, how to stand up.
|Desperate||Full of sorrow|
|Epistemology||True meaning of feelings or knowledge|
|Stand up||Understand, Accept, Tolerate|
|And no one buys a ball back.||Alliteration|
|Knowing what every man must one day know||Alliteration|
|And most know many days,||Alliteration|
The boy has understood that nobody can buy back the same ball. Money is an external aspect to emotions. He is learning this truth of his life. This learning can be seen in his eyes which are full of sorrow. He is trying to understand the meaning of a loss and how to understand and tolerate a loss. One day everyone will understand how to bear the loss. Some people have understood many days before learning how to tolerate a loss.