English CBSE Class 12 NCERT Vistas Chapter 5 Should Wizard Hit Mommy Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words
SHOULD WIZARD HIT MOMMY
In the evenings and for Saturday naps like today’s, Jack told his daughter Jo a story out of his head.
|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.
This custom, begun when she was two, was itself now nearly two years old, and his head felt empty.
|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.
Each new story was a slight variation of a basic tale: a small creature, usually named Roger (Roger Fish, Roger Squirrel, Roger Chipmunk), had some problem and went with it to the wise old owl.
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.
The owl told him to go to the wizard, and the wizard performed a magic spell that solved the problem, demanding in payment a number of pennies greater than the number that Roger Creature had, but in the same breath directing the animal to a place where the extra pennies could be found.
|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.
Then Roger was so happy he played many games with other creatures, and went home to his mother just in time to hear the train whistle that brought his daddy home from Boston.
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.
Jack described their supper, and the story was over. Working his way through this scheme was especially fatiguing on Saturday, because Jo never fell asleep in naps any more, and knowing this made the rite seem futile.
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.
The little girl (not so little anymore; the bumps her feet made under the covers were halfway down the bed, their big double bed that they let her be in for naps and when she was sick) had at last arranged herself, and from the way her fat face deep in the pillow shone in the sunlight sifting through the drawn shades, it did not seem fantastic that some magic would occur, and she would take her nap like an infant of two.
|Arranged herself on the bed||Lying on the bed|
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.
Her brother, Bobby, was two, and already asleep with his bottle. Jack asked, “Who shall the story be about today?”
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.
“Roger…” Jo squeezed her eyes shut and smiled to be thinking she was thinking. Her eyes opened, her mother’s blue. “Skunk,” she said firmly.
|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.
A new animal; they must talk about skunks at nursery school. Having a fresh hero momentarily stirred Jack to creative enthusiasm.
|Momentarily||For a short period|
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.
“All right,” he said. “Once upon a time, in the deep dark woods, there was a tiny little creature by the name of Roger Skunk. And he smelled very bad.” “Yes,” Jo said.
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.
“He smelled so bad that none of the other little woodland creatures would play with him.” Jo looked at him solemnly; she hadn’t foreseen this.
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.
“Whenever he would go out to play,” Jack continued with zest, remembering certain humiliations of his own childhood, “all of the other tiny animals would cry, “Uh-oh, here comes Roger Stinky Skunk,” and they would run away, and Roger Skunk would stand there all alone, and two little round tears would fall from his eyes.”
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.
The corners of Jo’s mouth drooped down and her lower lip bent forward as he traced with a forefinger along the side of her nose the course of one of Roger Skunk’s tears.
“Won’t he see the owl?” she asked in a high and faintly roughened voice.
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?
Sitting on the bed beside her, Jack felt the covers tug as her legs switched tensely. He was pleased with this moment — he was telling her something true, something she must know — and had no wish to hurry on.
|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.
But downstairs a chair scraped, and he realised he must get down to help Clare paint the living-room woodwork.
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.
“Well, he walked along very sadly and came to a very big tree, and in the tiptop of the tree was an enormous wise old owl.” “Good.”
|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.
“Mr Owl,” Roger Skunk said, “all the other little animals run away from me because I smell so bad.” “So you do,” the owl said. “Very, very bad.” “What can I do?” Roger Skunk said, and he cried very hard.
|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.
“The wizard, the wizard,” Jo shouted, and sat right up, and a Little Golden Book spilled from the bed.
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.
“Now, Jo. Daddy’s telling the story. Do you want to tell Daddy the story?” “No. You me.”
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.
“Then lie down and be sleepy.” Her head relapsed onto the pillow and she said, “Out of your head.”
|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.
“Well. The owl thought and thought. At last he said, “Why don’t you go see the wizard?” “Daddy?” “What?” “Are magic spells real?” This was a new phase, just this last month, a reality phase.
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.
When he told her spiders eat bugs, she turned to her mother and asked, “Do they really?” and when Clare told her God was in the sky and all around them, she turned to her father and insisted, with a sly yet eager smile, “Is He really?”
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.
“They’re real in stories,” Jack answered curtly. She had made him miss a beat in the narrative. “The owl said, “Go through the dark woods, under the apple trees, into the swamp, over the crick —”
|Beat||Step, A part|
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.
“What’s a crick?”A little river. “Over the crick, and there will be the wizard’s house.” And that’s the way Roger Skunk went, and pretty soon he came to a little white house, and he rapped on the door.”
|Pretty soon||Very soon|
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.
Jack rapped on the window sill, and under the covers Jo’s tall figure clenched in an infantile thrill.
|Clench||To hold tightly|
Jack tapped on the sill of the window to create an effect. And Jo held her cover tightly in her childish excitement.
“And then a tiny little old man came out, with a long white beard and a pointed blue hat, and said, “Eh? Whatzis? Whatcher want? You smell awful.”
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.
The wizard’s voice was one of Jack’s own favourite effects; he did it by scrunching up his face and somehow whining through his eyes, which felt for the interval rheumy. He felt being an old man suited him.
|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.
“I know it,” Roger Skunk said, “and all the little animals run away from me. The enormous wise owl said you could help me.”
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.
“Eh? Well, maybe. Come on in. Don’t get too close.” Now, inside, Jo, there were all these magic things, all jumbled together in a big dusty heap, because the wizard did not have any cleaning lady.”
|Jumbled||Mixed, Not arranged|
|Dusty||Full of dust|
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.
“Why? Because he was a wizard, and a very old man.”
“Will he die?”
“No. Wizards don’t die.
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.
Well, he rummaged around and found an old stick called a magic wand and asked Roger Skunk what he wanted to smell like. Roger thought and thought and said, “Roses.”
|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.
“Yes. Good,” Jo said smugly. Jack fixed her with a trance like gaze and chanted in the wizard’s elderly irritable voice:
|Smugly||With pride, Proudly|
|Fixed her||Looked at her|
|A trance like gaze||Look of a dream|
|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.
Roger Skunk, how do you do,
Roses, boses, pull an ear,
Roger Skunk, you never fear:
He paused as a rapt expression widened out from his daughter’s nostrils, forcing her eyebrows up and her lower lip down in a wide noiseless grin, an expression in which Jack was startled to recognise his wife feigning pleasure at cocktail parties.
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.
“And all of a sudden,” he whispered, “the whole inside of the wizard’s house was full of the smell of — roses! ‘Roses!’ Roger Fish cried. And the wizard said, very cranky, “That’ll be seven pennies.”
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.
“Roger Skunk. You said Roger Fish.”
“You said Roger Fish. Wasn’t that silly?”
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.
“Very silly of your stupid old daddy. Where was I? Well, you know about the pennies.” “Say it.”
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.
“O.K. Roger Skunk said, ‘But all I have is four pennies,’ and he began to cry.” Jo made the crying face again, but this time without a trace of sincerity. This annoyed Jack.
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.
Downstairs some more furniture rumbled. Clare shouldn’t move heavy things; she was six months pregnant. It would be their third.
|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.
“So the wizard said, ‘Oh, very well. Go to the end of the lane and turn around three times and look down the magic well and there you will find three pennies. Hurry up.’
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.
So Roger Skunk went to the end of the lane and turned around three times and there in the magic well were three pennies!
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.
So he took them back to the wizard and was very happy and ran out into the woods and all the other little animals gathered around him because he smelled so good.
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.
And they played tag, baseball, football, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, soccer, and pick-up-sticks.”
All the animals played several games.
“What’s pick-up-sticks?” “It’s a game you play with sticks.” “Like the wizard’s magic wand?” “Kind of. And they played games and laughed all afternoon and then it began to get dark and they all ran home to their mommies.”
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.
Jo was starting to fuss with her hands and look out of the window, at the crack of day that showed under the shade.
|To make fuss with hands||Move hands without purpose|
|Crack of the day||Sunlight|
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)
She thought the story was all over. Jack didn’t like women when they took anything for granted; he liked them apprehensive, hanging on his words. “Now, Jo, are you listening?” “Yes.”
|Take for granted||Assume, Guess|
|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.
“Because this is very interesting. Roger Skunk’s mommy said, ‘What’s that awful smell?’ “Wha-at?”
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.
“And, Roger Skunk said, ‘It’s me, Mommy. I smell like roses.’ And she said, ‘Who made you smell like that?’ And he said, ‘The wizard,’ and she said, ‘Well, of all the nerve. You come with me and we’re going right back to that very awful wizard.”
|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
Jo sat up, her hands dabbling in the air with genuine fright. “But Daddy, then he said about the other little animals run away!” Her hands skittered off, into the underbrush.
|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.
“All right. He said, ‘But Mommy, all the other little animals run away,’ and she said, ‘I don’t care. You smelled the way a little skunk should have and I’m going to take you right back to that wizard,’ and she took an umbrella and went back with Roger Skunk and hit that wizard right over the head.”
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.
“No,” Jo said, and put her hand out to touch his lips, yet even in her agitation did not quite dare to stop the source of truth. Inspiration came to her. “Then the wizard hit her on the head and did not change that little skunk back.”
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.
“No,” he said. “The wizard said ‘O.K.’ and Roger Skunk did not smell of roses any more. He smelled very bad again.” “But the other little amum — oh! — amum — ”
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.
“Joanne. It’s Daddy’s story. Shall Daddy not tell you any more stories?” Her broad face looked at him through sifted light, astounded. “This is what happened, then.
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.
Roger Skunk and his mommy went home and they heard Woo-oo, woooo-oo and it was the choo-choo train bringing Daddy Skunk home from Boston.
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
And they had lima beans, celery, liver, mashed potatoes, and Pie-Oh-My for dessert. And when Roger Skunk was in bed Mommy Skunk came up and hugged him and said he smelled like her little baby skunk again and she loved him very much. And that’s the end of the story.”
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.
“But Daddy.” “What?” “Then did the other little animals run away?” “No, because eventually they got used to the way he was and did not mind it at all.”
|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.
“What’s evenshiladee?” “In a little while.” “That was a stupid mommy.”
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.
“It was not,” he said with rare emphasis, and believed, from her expression, that she realised he was defending his own mother to her, or something as odd.
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.
“Now I want you to put your big heavy head in the pillow and have a good long nap.” He adjusted the shade so not even a crack of day showed, and tiptoed to the door, in the pretense that she was already asleep.
|Tiptoe||Walk without noise|
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.
But when he turned, she was crouching on top of the covers and staring at him. “Hey. Get under the covers and fall faaast asleep. Bobby’s asleep.”
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.
She stood up and bounced gingerly on the springs. “Daddy.” “What?”
Jo stood up on the bed. She started jumping carefully on the bed. She called her daddy.
“Tomorrow, I want you to tell me the story that that wizard took that magic wand and hit that mommy” — her plump arms chopped forcefully — ”right over the head.”
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.
“No. That’s not the story. The point is that the little skunk loved his mommy more than he loved all the other little animals and she knew what was right.”
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.
“No. Tomorrow you say he hit that mommy. Do it.” She kicked her legs up and sat down on the bed with a great heave and complaint of springs, as she had done hundreds of times before, except that this time she did not laugh.
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.
“Say it, Daddy.” “Well, we’ll see. Now at least have a rest. Stay on the bed. You’re a good girl.”
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.
He closed the door and went downstairs. Clare had spread the newspapers and opened the paint can and, wearing an old shirt of his on top of her maternity smock, was stroking the chair rail with a dipped brush.
|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
Above him footsteps vibrated and he called, “Joanne! Shall I come up there and spank you?” The footsteps hesitated.
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.
“That was a long story,” Clare said. “The poor kid,” he answered, and with utter weariness watched his wife labour.
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 woodwork, a cage of moldings and rails and baseboards all around them, was half old tan and half new ivory and he felt caught in an ugly middle position, and though he as well felt his wife’s presence in the cage with him, he did not want to speak with her, work with her, touch her, anything.
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.