Should Wizard Hit Mommy, Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, English CBSE Class 12 NCERT Vistas Chapter 5



Author – John Updike

Word Meaning
Nap Short sleep during day

Before his daughter Jo went to sleep, Jack used to tell a story to her every evening. Jack would tell her a story in the afternoon of every Saturday before she slept during the day. And today was Saturday. Jack used to narrate the story from his memory. He did not reading from a book.



Word Meaning
Custom Routine
Head felt empty Did not remember

This routine of telling a story had started when Jo was two years old. This routine has been going on since last two years. Now Jack did not remember many stories to tell her.



There was only a slight variation in each story. The basic theme was same. There would be an animal of different type like squirrel or fish. Its name would always be Roger. It had a problem. So it went to the wise old owl to obtain a solution.



Word Meaning
Wizard Magician
Magic Spell Magic
Pennies Money
In the same breath Immediately

The owl told Roger to go to the magician. The magician did some magic and the problem was solved. The magician asked money from Roger. But Roger did not have that much of money. The wizard told it to go to a place where it will find extra money.



After that Roger became happy. He played many games with other animals. He went home to be with his mother. Exactly at that time there would be a whistle of the train. Through this train daddy of Roger came home from Boston.



Word Meaning
Supper Dinner
Fatiguing Tiring
Rite Routine, Ritual
Futile Unsuccessful

Jack described about their dinner and the story would be complete. This scheme of storytelling was very tiring particularly on Saturday. Because Jo did not sleep during day time. Therefore this routine of storytelling was unsuccessful.



Word Meaning
Bumps Projection
Arranged herself on the bed Lying on the bed
Sifting Coming through
Shades Curtains
Infant Small baby

Jo was not very small kid now. Her feet had started reaching up to half the length of double bed. This could be seen by impression (projection) of hers legs under the cover she was using. Jack allowed Jo to use their double bed for her nap when she was sick.

Jo was lying on the bed. Her big face was on the pillow. The sunlight was coming through the curtains. Her face was shining under the sunlight. It did not appear that she will sleep that day like a small baby.



Booby was brother of Jo. His age was 2 years. He had already slept with his milk bottle in his mouth. Jack asked Jo who should be animal of today’s story.



Word Meaning
Squeezed her eyes shut Tightly closed eyes
Skunk Type of animal

Jo closed her eyes as if she was thinking. She was smiling. Suddenly her eyes opened. Her eye were blue same as her mother’s eyes. She said the animal of today’s story would be Skunk.



Word Meaning
Momentarily For a short period
Stirred Motivated

Jack thought  Jo has today asked about a new animal. Probably at their nursery school they are talking about skunks. Name of a new animal gave temporary motivation to Jack to make a new story.



Word Meaning
Woods Jungle

Jack started telling story. Once upon a time there was a little animal. His name was Roger Skunk. He lived in a dark jungle. Very bad smell used to come from his body. Jo said yes.



Word Meaning
Woodland Jungle
Solemnly Sincerely
Foreseen Anticipated, Imagined

Smell from his body was very bad. Other animals of the jungle did not play with him. Jo sincerely looked at her father. She had not imagined this about the skunk.



Word Meaning
Zest Enthusiasm, Zeal
Stinky Smelling foul
Humiliation Disgrace, Insult

While narrating this Jack recalled insults he had faced during his own childhood days. Jack told with great enthusiasm that whenever Roger skunk went out to play, all other animals used to start shouting.  Here comes the Roger Stinky Skunk. They would run away from Roger. Roger would be standing alone. Two little tears would come from his eyes.



Word Meaning
Drooped Bent down
Faintly Slightly

Jo bent her face a little down. Her lower lip was bent. And she moved her finger on her cheek as if a tear was falling from her eye.

She asked in a loud and slightly rough voice if Roger would meet the owl?



Word Meaning
Beside Near
Tug Sudden pull
Switched Moved
Tensely Because of tension

Jack was sitting on the bed near Jo. He felt that Jo had suddenly pulled the cover and her legs moved in tension. He was very happy to know this. Because Jo understood that Jack was telling some true story. She became eager to listen. And jack did not want to hurry.



Word Meaning
Scraped Pulled, Dragged
Woodwork Furniture

Jack heard the sound of a chair being dragged on ground floor. He realized that he must go there to help Clare – his wife. She was painting furniture of their living room.




Word Meaning
Tiptop Highest point
Enormous Very big, Huge

Roger walked with a very sad mood. He reached a very big tree. At the topmost branch of the tree a very big owl was sitting. Jo said good.



Word Meaning
Cried very hard Cried loudly

Roger said to the owl that all little animals were running away from him. He was smelling very bad. The owl agreed that Roger smelt very bad. Roger asked the owl what he should do. Then he started crying loudly.



Word Meaning
Spill Fall, Overflow

Jo shouted ‘The wizard’ and sat up in the bed. She wanted to say that owl should ask Roger to go to the wizard. While getting up in the bed a book ‘Little Golden Book’ got thrown to the floor.



Jack told Jo that daddy (Jack) was telling the story. He asked her if she wanted him to continue telling the story. Jo agreed that Jack was telling the story.

Jack did not like interference of Jo, so he objected. Jo agreed not to interfere.



Word Meaning
Relapsed Occur or happen again

Jack asked Jo to lie down on the bed and try to sleep. Jo once again put her head on the pillow and asked her father to continue the story.



The owl thought for a long time. Finally he asked Roger to meet the wizard. Jo wanted to ask a question. She asked if magic really happens. This was a new question. Last month also she had questioned what Jack had narrated to her.



Word Meaning
Bugs Insects
Sly Clever

Last month Jack had told in a story that spider eats insects. Jo asked her mother if that was the truth. Her mother Clare told her that God lives in the sky and he was everywhere. Then Jo gave a clever and eager smile to Jack and asked if that was the truth.

She is trying to validate what is told to her. It shows her eagerness to learn.



Word Meaning
Curtly Abruptly, Rudely
Beat Step, A part
Swamp Marsh
Crick Small river

Jack rudely told Jo that such things are real in stories. (He wanted her to accept what was told in the story.) Because of her questions, Jack had forgotten his story. He again started his story. The owl told Roger Skunk to go into dark jungle. He should go under the apple trees, then cross the marsh and finally cross the small river.



Word Meaning
Pretty soon Very soon
Rapped Knocked, Tapped

Jo asked what is a crick. Jack replied that a small river is called crick. The owl said that after crossing the river he shall reach house of the wizard. Roger Skunk went on the same path. Very soon he reached house of the wizard. It was a white coloured house. He knocked at the door.



Word Meaning
Clench To hold tightly
Infantile Childlike, Childish
Thrill Excitement, Happiness

Jack tapped on the sill of the window to create an effect. And Jo held her cover tightly in her childish excitement.



Word Meaning
Awful Very bad

From the house a small man came out. He had a long white beard. He was wearing a conical blue hat. He asked Roger what was the matter, what did he want. Wizard told Roger that he was smelling very bad.



Word Meaning
Scrunching To bend, To distort
Whining To make a loud or painful sound
For the interval For a change
Rheumy Red , Strange

Jack liked making voice of wizard. He used to bend his face. He would make a painful voice. His eyes would look strange. Jack felt that making sound of an old man suited him.



Word Meaning
Enormous Very big

Roger Skunk told the wizard that he was aware of his foul smell. All animals run away from me. The huge wise old told me that you will help me.



Word Meaning
Jumbled Mixed, Not arranged
Dusty Full of dust
Heap Stack

The wizard said he will try to help. He asked Roger to come in but told him not to come very near to him. Inside the house there were many things of magic. They were not arranged correctly. These were lying in a big dirty stack. These were dirty because the wizard did not have a maid to do cleaning of the house.



Jo asked why wizard did not have a cleaning lady. Jack replied that it was because he was a wizard and very old man. Jo asked will the wizard die. Jack said that wizards do not die.



Word Meaning
Rummaged Searched
Magic wand Stick used for magic

Wizard searched in the heap and found his magic wand. He then asked Roger which type of smell he would like to have from his body. Roger thought for a long time and said smell of roses.



Word Meaning
Smugly With pride, Proudly
Fixed her Looked at her
A trance like gaze Look of a dream
Chanted Sung
Elderly Like an elder person
Irritable voice Rough voice

Proudly Jo said it was a good choice. Jack stared at her. He looked as if he was in a dream. He started singing a poem. His voice was that of an old man. It was not a sweet voice.



Word Meaning
Rapt Unusual
Grin Silly smile
Startled Surprised
Feign Pretend

He stopped for a moment because an unusual  expression came from nostrils of his daughter. Her eyebrows went up. Her lower lip went down and she made a silly smile. Jack was surprised that her expression was similar to expression of his wife. She used to make this expression to pretend her happiness in a cocktail party.



Word Meaning
Cranky Peculiar, Irritable

Suddenly the inside of the house of wizard was full of smell of roses. Jack said this in a very low voice. Roger Fish cried because he became very happy. And the wizard said in a peculiar voice that Roger needs to pay seven pennies.



Jo reminded Jack that he had said Roger Fish. Jack corrected and said yes, it was Roger Skunk. Jo said that it was foolish to call Roger Fish.



Jack agreed that it was foolish of him to say Roger Fish. He tries to recollect his story. Jo asked him to continue the story.



Word Meaning
Trace Sign, Mark
Sincerity Seriousness

Roger Skunk told the wizard that he had only four pennies. Roger started crying. Jo also tried to make expression of crying on her face. But this time she was not sincere in her efforts. Therefore Jack got annoyed.



Word Meaning
Rumbled Sound of dragging

Some sound came from ground floor. It was the sound of some furniture being dragged. Jack thought that Clare should not move heavy things. She was pregnant for six months. It would be their third child.



Word Meaning
Lane Street

Wizard told Roger to go the end of the lane. He should take three turns in the lane.  Then he should look into the well of magic. There he will find three pennies. The wizard asked him to do this quickly.



Roger went to the end of the street. He took three turns there. Three pennies appeared in the magic well. He took out three pennies from the well.



Roger brought those three pennies to the wizard. Roger was now very happy. He came back running into the jungle. All other small animals gathered near Roger because he was smelling so good.



All the animals played several games.



Jo asked what is pick-up-sticks. Jack replied that it is a game played with sticks. Jo asked are those stick similar to magic wands. Jack said they are similar. All animals played and laughed a lot throughout the afternoon. Then it was evening. It started getting dark. So they all ran towards their home to meet their mothers.



Word Meaning
To make fuss with hands Move hands without purpose
Crack of the day Sunlight
Shade Curtain

Jo started making signals with her hands without any purpose. She started looking out of the window. Some sunlight was coming from edges of curtain. ( meaning that she was getting bored now)



Word Meaning
Take for granted Assume, Guess
Apprehensive Anxious, Attentive,
Hanging on his words Listening to him

Jo thought that story was completed. Jack did not like women who assumed something. He wanted them to be attentive and listening to him. (He is talking about Jo. He wants her to be attentive and listening to story). He asks Jo if she was listening to the story. Jo said yes.



Word Meaning
Awful Bad, Strange

Jack said that now is the interesting part of the story. Mother of Roger Skunk told what a bad smell he has from his body. Jo was surprised.



Word Meaning
Of all the nerve Used to express shock or anger

Roger explained to her mother that now he was smelling like roses. She asked who made him smell like that. Roger replied that it was wizard. She was very angry. She told Roger that they were immediately going to the very strange wizard.



Word Meaning
Dabbling Quick movements
Genuine Real
Fright Fear
Skitter off Glide, Move
Underbrush Under the cover

Jo sat in the bed. Her hands moved in the air because of fear. She said that Roger had told about other animals running away from him. Jo quickly moved her hands into the cover.



Jack added that into his story. Roger told his mom that all little animals ran away from him. His mother replied that she was not bothered about it. Roger needs to smell the way a skunk should smell. I am immediately taking you to the wizard. She took out an umbrella and they both went to the wizard. She hit the wizard on his head by the umbrella.



Word Meaning
Agitation Anger
Dare Have courage
Inspiration Thought

Jo expressed her surprise by saying no. She put her hands on her lips. She got angry but did not stop his father (The father is source of truth because he is telling the story). A thought came to her. She told that then wizard would have hit the mother skunk. He did not change the smell of Roger.



Jack said that it was not true. The wizard agreed and changed the smell of Roger to his earlier bad smell. Jo started objecting, but could not say anything.



Word Meaning
Sifted Coming through
Astounded Highly surprised

Jack did not listen to her objections. He told her that her daddy was telling stories. If she wanted him to tell more stories, she needs to accept what had happened in this story. Jo looked at her father through the light that was coming from window curtains. Jo was greatly surprised by the response of her father.



After that Roger Skunk and his mommy went home. They heard the sound of the train coming from Boston. His father was coming home in that train from Boston.



Then they ate their dinner together. Many dishes had been prepared for dinner. When Roger went to his bed, mommy skunk came to him. She hugged him. She told him that now he smelt just like her little child. She loved him. And that was the end of the story.



Word Meaning
Eventually Finally
Did not mind Did not bother

Jo asked if the little animal now ran away from Roger. Jack explained that finally after some time they all became used to his smell. So it did not bother them now.



Jo asked is the meaning of ‘evenshiladee’. She is not  able to pronounce the word ‘eventually’. Jack explains that it means ‘finally after sometime’. Jo said that mommy skunk was a fool.



Word Meaning
Rare Not common
Emphasis Loudly, Stressfully
Defending Protecting

Jack said with lot of stress that she was not foolish. It appeared to him that Jo had understood that he was trying to protect his own mother.



Word Meaning
Tiptoe Walk without noise
Shade Curtain
Pretense Imagination, Thought

Jack now ordered Jo to put her head on pillow and to have a good nap. He adjusted curtains so the no sunlight came into the room. He walked to the door without making any noise. He thought Jo had already slept.



Word Meaning
Crouching Sitting

But when Jack looked back, he found that Jo was sitting on top of the cover (bedsheet). She was staring at him. Jack ordered her to put the cover over her and sleep quickly. He said Bobby was already sleeping.



Word Meaning
Bounced Jumped
Gingerly Carefully

Jo stood up on the bed. She started jumping carefully on the bed. She called her daddy.



Jo told her father that tomorrow he should tell a story in which the wizard hits the mommy skunk on her head. She indicated the action of hitting by her hands.



Jack replied that was not the story. He explained that the real point was different. Roger Skunk loved his mom more than he loved any other animals. He knew that his mom was always right.



Jo again told his father that tomorrow he should tell a story in which wizard hits mommy skunk. She sat on the bed. Springs of bed made a big sound. She started kicking her legs. She had done this many times before. Earlier it used to be for happiness so she would laugh. This time she was not happy. She was protesting and demanding.



Jo again asked Jack to tell the story as she wanted. Jack replied that he will consider her request. Jack advised her to remain on the bed and take some rest. He said Jo was a good girl.



Word Meaning
Smock A loose garment

Jack shut the door and went to ground floor. His wife Clare has spread a newspaper. On that newspaper was an open can of paint. She was wearing an old shirt of Jack on her loose garments of pregnancy. With the help of brush, she was applying paint on the rail (handle) of the chair.



Word Meaning
Spank Beat

There was some sound on the footsteps of stairs from first floor. Jack told Jo if he should come there to beat her. Jo stopped.



Word Meaning
Weariness Tiredness
Labour Work hard

Clare said that was a long story. Means she expected Jack to come earlier. Jack was tired. He looked at her wife who was working hard.



The furniture, moldings, railings etc. were spread around in the room. Half of them had old dark colour. Other half had been painted with new ivory colour. It looked as if it was a cage. Jack felt that his life is also caught between old and new things. His wife was also with him in that cage. But he did not want to speak to her, work with her or touch her.



Important Links
Should Wizard Hit … – Textbook Q&A Should Wizard Hit … – Extra Q&A
The Enemy – Explanation On the Face of It – Explanation
The Enemy – Textbook Q&A On the Face of It – Textbook Q&A
The Enemy – Extra Q&A On the Face of It – Extra Q&A
Passages Note Making
Letter Writing Notice Writing
Advertisement Writing Article Writing
Report Writing


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