The Book That Saved the Earth Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, English CBSE Class 10 NCERT Footprints without Feet Chapter 10


Author : Clairo Boiko

(Explanation and Meaning of difficult words)


Time during this scene of play is 25th Century. Place is The Museum of Ancient History in the Department of 20th Century on Earth. It is one of the planets of universe.



Word Meaning
Historian An expert in history
Easel A frame or a stand
Beside Near

Before raising of the curtain, a person stands up on the stage, a spot light shines on a Historian. She is sitting on right side of the stage. The table has a projector. There is a stand near her. Following is written on it – Museum of Ancient History: Department of the Twentieth Century. She stands up and bows her head to audience



Word Meaning
Curiosity Eagerness to learn

The historian greets audience with good afternoon. She welcomes audience to the museum and her department. She says that her department has the eagerness to learn about very old time of twentieth century. Which means a reader can get information about 20th century here.



Word Meaning
Often Usually, Many times
Era of books Period of books
Anteater An animal that eats ants
Zulu A tribe of South Africa

The twentieth century was usually called the period or time of books. In those days there were books on every topic, on anteaters and on Zulu tribe of South Africa. From books people understood how to do something, when to do something, where to do something and why to do something



Word Meaning
Illustrated Explained by pictures
Punctuated Happened frequently
Martian People living on Mars
Invasion Attack

The books explained with pictures, provided education. Books were frequently published and sometimes decorated also. But the strangest achievement through a book was to save the Earth. The historian asks if people have heard about an attack in 2040 by people living on Mars.



Word Meaning
Encyclopedia Book containing information on many topics
Tome A big book

Nowadays this is not taught to children. Actually the attack did not happen because of one book. You may ask which book was that. Was it an encyclopedia or a big book or a secrete file. It was not any of these type of books.



Word Meaning
Historiscope Instrument to record history
Projector Instrument to show a film

She says that details would be shown through a recording. She switched on the historiscope to show what had happened in 2024. She also switches on the projector. The film appears on left of the stage. The spotlight on the historian is switched off. In the film one can see a person named Think-Tank. He is sitting on a box. The box is quite high. His arms are folded.





Word Meaning
Robe Dress
Apprentice Trainee

Think-Tanks has a big head. His head is of the shape of an egg. He is wearing a long dress which has stars and circles printed on it. A trainee is standing near him. Name of the trainee is Noodle. He is standing near a big switch board. An easel is placed near the Think-Tank. Following is written on it


It indicates that the scene is of Mars Space Station. The Think-Tank is the highest authority of it. Everybody is required to bow to him before entering the control room



Word Meaning
Peevishly Angrily
Salutation Greeting, Words used in the beginning

Noodle bows before Think-Tank. Addresses him as the most powerful and most intelligent person of the universe and asks for his orders. Think-Tanks angrily says that apprentice Noodle has not spoken the complete greetings. So he should say the salutation again




Word Meaning
Singsong In the style of a song

Noodle says that he will repeat the complete salutation. In the style of a song he says the complete salutation. He runs out of his breath. He asks for the orders of think-Tank.



Word Meaning
Probe Mission,
Ridiculous Absurd, Funny, Silly
Generous Kind hearted, Liberal

Think-Tank appreciates Noodle. Think-Tank wants to talk to their manned mission to the small planet. They want to include that planet in their kingdom. He asks name of that silly planet. Noodle replies that it is called Earth.



Word Meaning
Insignificant Very small
Fantastically Extremely good,
Intellectually gifted Intelligent
Pause Stop, Short Break

Think-Tank now recalls the name of the planet. He says that the planet is so small. But he first wants to do something important. He wants to talk to his mirror. Noodle brings the mirror. Think-Tank asks the mirror who is most intelligent person in the world. The mirror replies after a short time that it is you – meaning Think Tank.




Word Meaning
Smack To slap
Admire To Appreciate
Martians People living on Mars
Race Tribe

Think-Tank slapped the mirror and ordered it to give answers quickly because he hates slow mirrors. He looks in the mirror and appreciates himself. He says that people of mars are handsome people.



Word Meaning
Earthlings People living on Earth
Balloon brain Big brain

Think-tank says that people of Mars are more attractive than people living on Earth. The earthlings have very small head. He asks Noodle to continue to exercise his mind. Then someday Noodle will have very big brain similar to that of Think-Tank



Word Meaning
Primitive Underdeveloped, Elementary

Noodle says he will try. He is very hopeful. Think-Tank asks noodle to contact the space mission. Think-Tank says that he wants to attack the underdeveloped ball of mud known as earth before lunch. Noodle tries to contact the space mission by adjusting levers on the switchboard. One can hear sound of beeps and buzzes. The curtain opens.




Time is just a few seconds after completion of first scene of the play. Mars Space Control Room is at Mars and the Centerville Public Library is on Earth. In the library, Captain Omega is standing in the center of the library. She is trying to understand card catalogue stored in a drawer. Lieutenant Iota is standing at the left of Omega. She is counting books in a bookcase. Sergeant Oop is at the right. He is trying to understand what a book is. [These people from mars had never seen a library and books]



Word Meaning
Close sighting Good view from close
Enormous Very big

Noodle says that he has a good view of space crew from very close. Think-Tank puts on a very big goggles and he starts watching the crew. Noodle says that the space crew is probably in some structure on the Earth. Think-Tank appreciates and asks Noodle to arrange a talk with the crew.



Word Meaning
Crew Group
Come in Speak, Contact

Noodle speaks in a microphone. Mars Space Control calling crew of Probe One. He asks the crew to contact him. He asks Captain Omega to tell his location.



Word Meaning
Without any incident Without any problem

Omega speaks in a disc. It is tied with a chain. The chain is around her neck. She says that all three of them reached Earth without any problem. We have taken shelter in this square shaped place. Omega asks Iota if she knows where they were.



Word Meaning
Can’t figure it out Cannot understand
Barn Grains

Iota is holding a book. She replies that she is not able to understand about the place. She says that she has counted two thousand of this strange item. [She has counted two thousand books. They have seen books for the first time]. She says it must be a place to store grains. Now Iota asks opinion of sergeant Oop about the place.




Word Meaning
Clue Idea, Hint
Haberdashery Shop that sells clothes, button etc

Oop replies that he does not have any idea. I have been to seven galaxies but have not seen any place like this. He opens a book and places it on his head. He says that probably these are hats. Or probably this  place is a haberdashery.

Omega bows her head. She addresses Think-Tanks as the great and powerful person. She requests Think-Tank to give his opinion about the place.



Word Meaning
Elementary Simple, Ordinary
Undoubtedly Certainly, Without any doubt
Crude Undeveloped, Unsophisticated

Think-Tank says that it is very ordinary thing. He asks Omega to hold the item in such a way that he can see it properly. After seeing the book Think Tanks says that now he has understood about the place. Since people living on earth are always eating, the place is an ordinary shop for refreshment. Eatables are placed in stands.



Omega informs to her colleagues Iota and Oop that Think-Tank says this place is a refreshment stand. Oop says that people of Earth have a strange diet. Think Tank says that the item in the hand of Omega is called a sandwich. Oop looks at the book and wonders if it is a sandwich.



Word Meaning
Staple Main common food
Squints Looks carefully

Think-Tank says that sandwich is the main common food at Earth. He asks Omega to look at it carefully. Think-Tank explains that there are two slices of bread (hard cover of book) and some filling (papers) between these slices. Omega confirms. Think-Tank orders Omega to eat it. Omega is not ready to eat. So Think-Tank asks if Omega has a doubt about orders from powerful Think Tank.



Word Meaning
Dubiously With a doubt,

Omega says that Iota has not taken her breakfast. So she orders Iota to eat the sandwich (book). Iota does not want to eat it. So she says that it would be a great honour to be the first person of Mars to eat a sandwich. But she does not want to eat before her Sergeant. So she orders Oop to immediately eat sandwich.



Word Meaning
Breathlessly With fear, With excitement, Intently
Pantomime To make a gesture, Make movements
Terrible Very bad, Horrible

Oop is hesitating. But Iota and Omega salute him and request him to eat the book for the sake of Mars. Oop opens his mouth and bites a corner of the book. He mouth moves as if he is chewing and swallowing the book. Expressions of his face are very bad.



Word Meaning
Pound Pat, Strike with palm
Delicious Tasty

Oop coughs. Omega and Iota pat his back. Think-Tank ask him if it was not tasty. Oop agrees that it was not tasty. He does not understand how people of earth can eat sandwiches without water. These are as dry as sand of Mars.



Word Meaning
Insignificant Very small, Unimportant
Trifling Unimportant

Noodle requests Think-Tank to excuse him. He says that he has some small amount of data about these sandwiches. Think-Tanks says that these data cannot be of any importance. He asks Noodle to tell about the unimportant data.



Word Meaning
Haughtily Proudly, Arrogantly

Noodle says that he had seen some films about those sandwiches. People of earth do not eat them. These are some kind of device which are used for communication. Think-Tank proudly says that this was his next point. These are actually communication sandwiches. Think-Tank is never wrong. He asks who is never wrong. Everybody say that Think-Tanks is never wrong.



Word Meaning
Puzzled Confused
Intently Carefully

Now Think-Tanks orders them to listen to these books. All three are surprised. But Think – Tank again orders them to listen to books. Martians bow very low. Each of them take two books and hold close to their ears. They try to listen with attention.



Omega, Iota and Oop try to listen to the books. They ask each other if any sound is coming out of the books. Oop loudly says that he is not able to hear anything.



Think-Tank asks them to tell him what they have listened. They all say that they heard nothing. Omega says that probably the frequency of books is different. Iota says that probably people of earth have better ears. Oop says that probably these sandwiches do not make any sound at all.



Word Meaning
Cloudy Unclear
Twirling Revolving, Moving

Think-Tank asks if they are trying to say that he has made a mistake. All three deny and say that they will continue to listen. Noodle says that some information has come to his mind but he is not sure about it. Think-Tank asks noodle to tell the information so that he can clarify it. Noodle says that earthlings did not listen to sandwiches. They opened it and looked at them.



Think-Tanks agrees with Noodle and clarifies to Captain Omega. He says that these sandwiches are not for communication through ears but for communication through eyes. He asks Omega to pick up a colourful book. He says that this book is important and asks Omega to tell him what Omega sees in the book. Omega picks up a very big book whose title is Mother Goose. Audience can see the title. Iota and Opp are standing on the sides of Omega. They try to look at the book.



Word Meaning
Squiggles Short curved lines

Omega says that the book contains pictures of earthlings. Iota says that the book contains some code. Think-Tank is now interested and asks them to describe the codes. Oop says that it has thousands of pictures. The codes are in the form of lines, short curved lines and dots on sides of pictures



Word Meaning
Primitive Underdeveloped
Break the code Find meaning of code, Decipher

Think-Tanks says that probably earthlings are not as underdeveloped as we thought. We must find out meaning of the code. Noodle asks if the chemical department had given vitamin tablets to crew of their space mission. These tablets can increase their intelligence.



Word Meaning
Slowly unfold Slowly become known or clear

Think-Tank orders Noodles to stop speaking. He says that a very good idea has come to him. He reminds the crew that their chemical department had given them vitamin tablets. He orders them to immediately take those tablets and then to look into the sandwich. The meaning of the code will be slowly known to you.



Word Meaning
Stiffly Tightly
Pop Take without breaking
Gulp Swallow
Decipher To find meaning
Frown Look

Omega says that orders of Think-Tank shall be obeyed. All three people take vitamin tablets. Their eyes are wide open, their heads shake and they put their hand on their foreheads. Think-tank appreciates them and asks them to find out meaning of code. They all agree to do so. The start looking in the book. They are turning pages of the book.



Word Meaning
Transcribe To write or speak exactly as written
Cockle A sea animal with hard shell
Contrary Opposite

Omega. Iota and Oop start laughing. Think-Tank asks them to tell him immediately what they had read. He asks Omega to read what is written. Omega reads half sentences. [No meaning can be understood by these sentences]



Word Meaning
Levity Joke, Fun
Invasion Attack
Fleet Group of vehicles or people
Invasion Fleet Army for attack

Oop laughs at imagining that pretty maid are growing in a garden. Think-Tank asks him to stop laughing. You should understand this serious discovery. The Earthlings have combined agriculture with mining. They are able to grow crop of rare metals like silver. They can also grow cockle shells. They are growing explosives also. He asks Noodle to contact Martian forces of attack.



Word Meaning
Take over Capture, Win
Hold on Wait

Noodle says that the force is ready to go and capture Earth. Think-Tank asks Noodle to tell the force to wait for some time because some more information has been received about earth. He asks Iota to narrate the information.



Word Meaning
Gravely Seriously

Iota seriously reads from the book. It is a poem. Oop laughs at listening that dish had run away with the spoon.



Word Meaning
Cease Stop
Desist Avoid, Control
Alarming Dangerous
Humourous Funny
Interplanetary One planet to another
Notify Inform
Invasion Attack

Think-Tank orders Oop to stop laughing and to avoid laughing. This is very dangerous. The Earthlings are highly advanced. They have taught music and space technology to their domestic animals. Their dogs are also funny. At present they are starting attack on other planets by millions of cows. He asks to inform the attacking force not to attack today. He asks Oop to read further.



Oop reads another poem. It is of Humpty Dumpty. He asks Think-Tank to look at the picture of Humpty Dumpty. Audience and Think-Tank can now see the picture.



Word Meaning
Screaming Shouting
Capsule A small plane
Traces Signs

Think-Tanks shouts and hold his head in his hands. He says that the picture is of him. It is my own great balloon brain. The Earthlings have seen me and they want to kill me. They want to capture the Mars Central Control and me. He orders Noodle to prepare a space plane for himself. He wants to escape without any delay. He then orders his people at the earth to immediately leave earth after removing all signs of their visit. The Earthlings should not know that I know their plan. The team starts putting back the books in the shelf.



Word Meaning
Evacuate Vacate

Noodle asks where they should go. Think-Tanks replies that they would go one hundred million miles away from Mars. He orders the invasion crew to vacate the entire planet. He declare that all will go to Alpha Centauri which is hundred million miles away. Omega, Iota and Oop run towards right, Noodle helps Think-Tank to move towards left. The curtain falls. The spotlight is now on historian.



Word Meaning
Dusty Dull, Simple
Chuckling Laughing
Resumed Restarted

The historian says that this is how an old simple book of nursery rhymes saved the world from attack by people of Mars. After five hundred years from that incident, in the twenty-fifth century we once again contacted mars. And we became friends of each other.



Word Meaning
Wonderful Very nice

By twenty-fifth century the great and most powerful Think-Tank was not head of Mars. Noodle, who was wise and a very nice person, had become head of Mars. We, the people of earth, taught Martian the difference between a sandwich and a book.



The historian says that we taught the Martian how to read. We established a model library in the capital of Mars – Marsopolis. But Martians do not want to read one particular book. Your guess is right, its title is Mother Goose. The historian bows and goes from the stage.

Curtain falls.




Important Links
The Book That Saved the Earth – Textbook Q&A The Book That Saved the Earth – Extra Q&A
Bholi – Explanation A Triumph of Surgery – Explanation
Bholi – Textbook Q&A A Triumph of Surgery – Textbook Q&A
Bholi – Extra Q&A A Triumph of Surgery – 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




Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!