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English CBSE Class 11 NCERT Snapshot Chapter 1 The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse Line by Line Explanation and Meaning of Difficult Words

THE SUMMER OF THE BEAUTIFUL WHITE HORSE

(Explanation)

Author – William Saroyan

Word Meaning
Magnificence Brilliance, Greatness, Majesty
Delightful Lovely, Enjoyable, Wonderful
Mysterious Strange, Peculiar
Crazy Passionate, Mad,
To tap To knock

This story is being narrated by Aram. At that time he was 9 years old. He lived in a country named Armenia.

Many years ago when I was 9 years old, the world was full of every brilliant thing one could imagine. Life was enjoyable like a strange dream. My cousin Mourad came to my house at four in the morning. He knocked at the window of my room to wake me up. Everybody considered Mourad a passionate or a mad boy. I was the only person who did not consider him a mad.

 

 

 

He called out my name – Aram. I quickly came out of my bed and looked out of the window. I could not believe what I saw.

 

Word Meaning
Daybreak Dawn, Beginning of day
Around the corner About to start

The day had not started because the Sun had not risen. But its shine had started spreading in the sky. It was summer season. The dawn was about to happen in couple of minutes. There was enough light outside to confirm that I was not dreaming.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Stuck my head out of window Pulled my head out of window
Armenian Language of Armenia
Make it quick To do something quickly, To hurry up

I saw through the window that my cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse. I pulled my head out of the window and rubbed my eyes. Probably Aram could not believe what he saw. It was an unexpected surprise for him. Mourad said to Aram in Armenian language that it was a horse and he was not seeing a dream. Mourad asked Aram to come out quickly if he wanted to ride on the horse.

 

I was aware that my cousin Mourad always enjoyed his life. His belief for enjoying life was stronger than that of anybody else in this world. But Mourad enjoying a horse ride was beyond my imagination.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
In the first place From the beginning, Most important
Earliest memories Old memories
Longing Strong desire
First longings Strongest desire, First desire

Most importantly, even in my old dreams I had dreamt about horses. It was my strongest desire to ride a horse.

 

 

It was really wonderful to have the desire of riding a horse. The second part of my life was that we were poor. This second part did not allow me to believe what I saw. Aram wants to say that because they were poor it was beyond his imagination that they could every ride a horse.

 

 

Word Meaning
Poverty stricken Affected due to poverty
Garoghlanian A tribe in Armenia

We were poor and without any money. Every member of our society was affected by poverty. Everybody in Garoghlanian tribe was poor. We all were living with great degree of poverty.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Belly Stomach

We never understood how we earned enough money. Even the old people of our families did not know this. But money was required to buy things to keep our stomach full. Author wants to say that means of earning were limited and not certain. Thus their income was also very low. But the most important aspect about us was that we were always honest. We were famous for being honest.

 

 

Word Meaning
Wealthiest Richest

Since 1100 years we were famous for being honest. We were honest even when we were considered the richest family among the families living around us. We considered this small group of the families as the complete world for us.

 

 

We were proud of our culture. Then we were proud of being honest. It was only after these two aspects, we considered what was right or wrong. Nobody among us would ever take advantage of any other person in the world. We could never think of stealing anything.

 

Word Meaning
Consequently As a result of , Therefore

We were poor. Therefore I could not believe that the horse belonged to my cousin Mourad or to any other member of my family. Even in our dreams we could not have bought a horse. But I could see the horse, it was big. I could smell the horse, the smell was so lovely. I could hear breath of the horse, the sound was so exciting.

I was aware that my cousin Mourad could not have bought the horse. If he did not buy the horse, he had stolen it. I refused to believe this thought because we were honest.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Stared Gazed, Looked constantly
Pious Holy, Sincere
Stillness Quiet, No movement
Delighted Made happy
Frightened Afraid

I believed that nobody from Garoghlanian tribe can be a thief. I first looked at my cousin and then at the horse. There was no movement which looked holy. It was also humouours because the horse was quiet and not moving. I was happy to see the horse and I was afraid also.

 

Word Meaning
Leap Jump

I asked Mourad from where did he steal the horse. He replied that if I wanted to ride the horse, I should jump out of the window. Now I understood that he had stolen the horse. There was no doubt about it. He had come to invite me to ride on the horse. It was my choice to accept the invitation or to reject it.

Word Meaning
Seemed Appeared, Formed an opinion

I had an opinion that stealing a horse for taking a ride cannot be called stealing of money. I realised that probably it was not at all a theft. It cannot be called a theft if somebody is passionate about riding a horse. And we were passionate about it. It will be a theft only if  we sell the horse. Certainly we were not going to sell the horse.

Aram is trying to justify to himself about action of Mourad. He knew it that the horse did not belong to them.

 

 

 

I told Mourad to allow me to change my clothes. He asked me to hurry up. I quickly changed my clothes. I jumped down from the window to the courtyard. Then I jumped up to sit on the horse behind Mourad.

Word Meaning
Country Rural area, Area without houses
Vineyard Plantation area of creepers of grapes
Orchards Plantation area of plants of fruits
Irrigation ditches Canals
Country roads Roads of rural area
Trot Run

During that year we were living at the edge of a village. This part of the village was called Walnut Avenue. Behind our house there was rural area without any house. It had vineyards, orchards, canal and rural roads. In less than three minutes we reached Olive Avenue. Now the horse started running.

Word Meaning
Air was new Air was fresh

The air was fresh. I felt good to breathe fresh air. The experience of riding on a running horse was very good. My cousin was considered as the most passionate member of our family. He started singing. His voice was so bad that his singing was like a roar.

 

 

Word Meaning
Crazy streak Passionate character
Descendant Posterity, Heir, Representative

Every family has at-least one passionate character in the family. My cousin Mourad was a true representative of a passionate person.

 

 

 

Word Meaning
Enormous Huge, Very big
Furious Angry, Fierce
Temper Behaviour
Irritable One who get angry easily
Roaring Shouting

Before Mourad, our uncle Khosrove was the craziest person in our family. He was a person of huge built. He had a big head and black hair. His moustache was the largest in San Joaquin Valley. His behaviour was very bad. He would easily become angry. He was very impatient. He used to stop everyone from talking by saying ‘It is no harm; pay no attention to it’. Which means it is a small aspect so no one should bother about it.

Whatever anybody told him, Khosrove  would give the same reply. Once he was getting his moustache trimmed from a barber. The shop was eight building away from his own house. His son Arak came running to the shop to tell him that their house had caught fire.

Khosrove sat up in the chair and shouted at his son ‘It is no harm; pay no attention to it’. The barber reminded Khosrove that the boy was telling that his own house had caught fire. He again shouted and told that it was not a problem.

 

 

My cousin Mourad was regarded as a natural representative of this man Khosrove. Though Mourad’s father Zorab was a practical person. Such was the speciality of our tribe.

Word Meaning
Flesh Body
Capricious Unpredictable, Unstable
Vagrant Person who wanders, Moving,

A person is certainly father of his son. But this does not mean that both will have similar feelings and intellect. A son can be different from his father. Every person of our community had different unpredictable temperament. And the temperament was never a constant even in a family, it changed a lot.

We were riding the horse and my cousin Mourad was singing. For everyone, who knew us, we were still in our village. At least our neighbours believed so. Aram wants to say that nobody in his neighbourhood had seen them riding the horse. They allowed the horse to run as long as it wanted to run.

Mourad asked me to get down from the horse because he want to ride alone. I asked him if he will allow me to ride alone. Mourad replied that horse would decide that. I said that horse would surly allow me to ride alone.

Word Meaning
Have a way with a horse To know how to ride a horse

Mourad said we shall think about it later. He told me to remember that he knew how to ride a horse. I replied that I also knew to ride a horse. Mourad told me that for my own safety I should be sure about it. He again asked me to get down. I once again asked him to allow me to ride the horse alone.

Word Meaning
Vazire It is name of the horse
Hind legs Rear legs, Back legs
Snorted Produce a sound through nose
Burst Sudden start
Fury of speed High speed

I got down from the horse. Mourad kicked horse with his heel and shouted – ‘Vazirre run’. For a moment the horse stood on its rear legs. It produced a sound through its nose. And suddenly started running at high speed. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

 

 

Mourad ran his horse through the field that had dry grass. Then he ran it into the irrigation canal. After five minutes he returned. He was completely wet because of water of irrigation canal.

 

 

Word Meaning
Got off Got down

The Sun was now rising. I told that now it was my turn to ride the horse. Mourad got down from the horse and allowed me to ride alone.

Word Meaning
Awful Bad, Terrible

I jumped on the back of the horse. For a moment I felt very afraid beyond my imagination. The horse did not move at all.

 

 

Word Meaning
Up and about Awake and out of house

Mourad asked me to kick the horse. He asked me why I was waiting. We have to take the horse back before people get up and come out of their houses. He did not want that people should see us with the horse.

I kicked my heel into the body of the horse. Once again the horse rose on its rear legs and snorted. Then it started running. I did not know what to do next.

The horse did not run towards the irrigation canal. But it ran towards the vineyard of Dikran Halabian. It started jumping over the vines. The horse jumped over seven vines. Then I fell down. The horse continued to run.

Word Meaning
Come upon Find by chance

Mourad came towards me running. He shouted that he was not worried about me. We need to catch the horse. He asked me to go the one way. He went to other way. He advised me if I find the horse I should be kind to it. He said that he will be nearby only.

I continued to walk along the road. Mourad crossed the field to walk towards the irrigation canal. In about half an hour he found the horse and brought it back.

He asked me to jump on the horse. Obviously he was also sitting on the horse. He told that now everybody in the village was awake. I asked him what we should do now. He replied that either we would take it back or hide somewhere till tomorrow morning.

Word Meaning
For a while For a short time
At any rate Certainly

He did not look worried. I was sure that he would certainly not take the horse back to village even for a short time. He would hide it. He told me that he knew about a place to hide the horse. I asked him since how much time he had stolen the horse.

 

 

Word Meaning
Suddenly dawned on me I suddenly understood
Longed Had a strong desire

I suddenly understood that he had been taking early morning rides on horse for some time. He had come to me this morning only. He knew that I had a strong desire to ride a horse.

Mourad asked who had talked about stealing the horse. I asked since when he had been riding the horse every morning. He replied that it started from this morning. I asked if he was telling the truth.

Mourad confirmed that he was not telling the truth. But if we are caught, we need to tell that we started riding from this morning only. None of us should be proved a liar. Please remember that we started riding from this morning. I agreed.

Word Meaning
Barn A storage building for grains
Deserted vineyard Empty vineyard

Mourad quietly took the horse to the storage yard of an empty vineyard. This belonged to a person by the name of Fetvajian. Once upon a time he took pride in owning this vineyard. There were some oats and alfalfa in the barn. After putting the horse in the barn we started walking to our home.

Mourad informed me that it was difficult to make the horse behave so nicely. Initially it wanted to behave wildly. But I know to ride a horse. So I can make it do whatever I want to. I have good understanding with horses.

I asked him how he could do it. He replied that he has an understanding with a horse. I asked him what that understanding was. He replied that it was a simple and honest understanding.

I replied that I also wanted to have such a good understanding with a horse. Mourad replied that still I was a small boy. When I become thirteen year old, I will know how to do it. I reached my home. I ate a lot in my breakfast.

 

 

Word Meaning
Parlour Sitting room

In the afternoon of that day, my uncle Khosrove came to our home. He wanted to have coffee and cigarettes. He sat in the sitting room of our house. He was taking coffee, smoking cigarettes and recalling the rural areas he had lived in.

Word Meaning
Visitor Guest
Assyrian A resident of Assyria

One more guest came to our house. He was a farmer. His name was John Byro. He was from Assyria country. He used to live alone in Armenia. To avoid his loneliness he learned to speak Armenian language.

 

My mother brought coffee and tobacco for that lonely guest. He made a cigarette from the tobacco. He took coffee and smoked cigarette. In a very sad voice he said that his white horse was stolen one month ago. He has not yet found it. He is not able to understand about the theft.

 

 

My uncle Khosrove became very angry and shouted that it was no harm. Loss of a horse is nothing. We all have moved away from our home country. You should not feel sad for the loss of a horse.

Word Meaning
Dweller Resident
Surrey Carriage, Tonga

John Byro replied that for a resident of city loss of horse does not mean anything. But I have a carriage. A carriage is useless without a horse.

Khosrove shouted to pay no attention to the theft. John Byro said that he had walked ten miles to come to the city. Khosrove replied in a loud voice that John Byro had legs so he should walk. The farmer said that he had pain in his left leg.

Khosrove shouted to pay no attention to the pain. The farmer said that he had paid sixty dollars to buy that horse. Khosrove said that he did not give any importance to the money.

Word Meaning
Stalked Walked angrily
Slammed Closed loudly
Has a gentle heart Is a kind person

John Byro got up and angrily walked out of the house. He closed the door with a noise. My mother explained to my uncle that the farmer was a kind person. He is quite old and still lonely. So he is feeling bad about loss of horse.

Word Meaning
Peach A fruit
Robin A bird

The farmer went from our house. I ran to the house of Mourad. He was sitting under a peach tree. He was trying to repair the damaged wing of a robin bird. It was not able to fly. While  repairing the wing, he was talking to the bird.

Mourad asked me what the matter was. I said that John Byro the farmer had visited our house. He is searching for his horse. You have the horse with you for a month. Please promise that you will return the horse only after I have learnt riding.

 

 

Mourad told me that I would take one year to learn riding. I replied that we should return the horse after one year. Mourad jumped up and stood up.

He was surprised by my reply and shouted at me. He said that I was advising a member of Garoghlanian family to steal. He further told that the horse must be returned to its owner. I asked him when this should be done. He replied that at least after six months we should return the horse.

Mourad threw the bird into the air. The bird tried a lot to fly. Twice it almost fell on the ground. But finally it flew away straight and high in the sky.

For next two weeks, every morning we took out the horse from the store of that empty vineyard. We rode the horse. Every morning I tried to ride it alone. On every such occasion, it jumped over grape vines, small trees. It threw me away from its back and ran away.

Word Meaning
Nevertheless In spite of
Ran into Met without any plan

In spite of horse throwing me off again and again, I was hopeful of learning to ride the horse. I wanted to be as expert as my cousin Mourad was. One morning while we were going to the empty vineyard of Fetvajian we met the farmer John Byro. He was going to the town.

Mourad said that he will talk to Fetvajian. Because he knows how to talk to farmers. Mourad said good morning to John Byro. The farmer carefully looked at the horse. He addresses Mourad as ‘son of my friend’. He asked name of the horse.

Word Meaning
Swear To be sure, Affirm, Insist

Mourad replied that name of the horse is ‘My Heart’. The farmer said he was sure that this horse is same as his horse. His horse was stolen about one month back. He requested permission to look into the mouth of the horse.

Mourad answered that he could surly do so. The farmer looked into the mouth of the horse. He said that every tooth of this horse is similar to tooth of his horse. I am sure that it is my horse. But I know your parents. They are famous for their honesty.

Therefore he did not say that the boys had stolen his horse.

 

 

Word Meaning
Twin Exact copy, One of two born together

But the horse is an exact copy of my horse. A person having a doubt will believe his eyes than follow his heart. They said good day to each other and we went away.

 

 

Next early morning we took the horse to the vineyard of John Byro. We put the horse in the barn. The dogs were following us. But they were silent.

In a low voice I said to Mourad that dogs may bark. Mourad told me that he knew how to handle dogs. Mourad put his arms around the horse. Then he presses his face against the face of the horse. Their nose were close to each other. He patted the horse and we walked away.

In the afternoon of that day John Byro came to our house. He was driving his carriage. He told my mother that his stolen horse had been returned.

John Byro said that he was not able to understand anything about the theft. The horse is stronger than it was before. Its behaviour has also become better. I am so thankful to God.

My uncle Khosrove was in the sitting area of our house. He became angry and shouted at the farmer. He asked the farmer to keep quiet. Your horse has been returned. Pay no attention to it.

****

 


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