TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED
I. HIS FIRST FLIGHT THINKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Question 1. Why was the young seagull afraid to fly? Do you think all young birds are afraid to make their first flight, or are some birds more timid than others? Do you think a human baby also finds it a challenge to take its first steps?
Ans. The young seagull was afraid to fly because he thought that his wings would not support him. Yes, all young birds are afraid to make their first flight. This is because it is a new experience for them. Some birds might be more timid than others. However, it depends on individual birds also. For example, the young seagull could not muster up courage to fly whereas his two brothers and his sister flew away from the ledge. A human baby certainly finds it a challenge to take its first steps.
Question 2.‘‘The sight of the food maddened him.’’ What does this suggest? What compelled the young seagull to finally fly?
Ans. The young seagull could not muster up the courage to fly. So he was alone and hungry on the ledge. His mother wanted him to fly. So she took a piece of fish in her beak and went close to the seagull. But she kept herself at some distance from him. She did so knowingly. She knew that the young seagull was very hungry and he would do anything to get food. And this is what exactly happened. The young seagull dived at the piece of fish. In making this attempt, he fell into space and was compelled to fly.
Question 3. ‘‘They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly’’. Why did the seagull’s father and mother threaten him and cajole him to fly?
Ans. The young seagull was afraid to fly. He thought that his wings would not support him. His two brothers and his sister had already flown away the day before. So he was left alone and hungry on the ledge. His father and mother were beckoning to him to fly shrilly. But the young seagull was too timid to fly. So they threatened to starve him on the ledge and cajoled him to fly because learning the art of flight was very necessary for a bird.
Question 4. Have you ever had a similar experience, where your parents encouraged you to do something that you were too scared to try? Discuss this in pairs or groups.
Ans. Yes, I had a similar experience in my life. I was a school-going boy when my father asked me to learn cycling. But I was terribly afraid to ride a cycle. I thought I could not balance my body on it and would fall down. The worst fears came into my mind. But my father was adamant about my learning cycling. So one day, he took me and a cycle on a mound near our village. He made me sit on the saddle and asked me to put my hands on the handle and feet on the pedals. He kept the cycle steady for some time and then gave it a push. The cycle sped down the mound and came on the plane ground. Luckily I did not fall down and applied brakes. My father followed me on another bicycle and he caught hold of my cycle. Thus I overcame my fear of cycling and started riding a cycle after a few practice sessions.
Question 5. In the case of a bird flying, it seems a natural act, and a foregone conclusion that it should succeed. In the examples you have given in answer to the previous question, was your success guaranteed, or was it important for you to try, regardless of the possibility of failure?
Ans. When we learn any new skill, we certainly face some difficulties in the initial stages. We hesitate to do something which we have not done earlier. In the case of the seagull his parents cajoled him to fly. In the example given above, I was cajoled by my father to learn cycling. At that age it was important for me to learn cycling. If one is determined to do something then success is guaranteed. Moreover, practice, they say, makes a man perfect.
We have just read about the first flight of a young seagull. Your teacher will now divide the class into groups. Each group will work on one of the following topics. Prepare a presentation with your group members and then present it to the entire class.
• Progression of Models of Airplanes
• Progression of Models of Motorcars
• Birds and Their Wing Span
• Migratory Birds—Tracing Their Flights
Ans. Attempt yourself in class.
Question: Write a short composition on your initial attempts at learning a skill. You could describe the challenges of learning to ride a bicycle or learning to swim. Make it as humorous as possible.
Ans. Do yourself (Take hints from question 5 and give it a humorous touch.).
II. BLACK AEROPLANE
THINKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Question 1. ‘‘I’ll take the risk.’’ What is the risk? Why does the narrator take it?
Ans. The narrator was flying to England. But suddenly there were dark clouds in the sky. He did not have enough fuel in his plane. He could not go back to Paris. So he took the risk of flying his Dakota into the stormy clouds. He did this because he wanted to get home and have a good breakfast with his family.
Question 2. Describe the narrator’s experience as he flew the aeroplane into the storm.
Ans. The narrator was eager to go home. So he took the risk of flying his Dakota 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. He looked at the compass. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The compass was turning round and round. It was dead. It would not work. The other instruments were suddenly dead, too. He tried the radio. The radio was dead too. He had no radio, no compass, and he could not see where he was. He was lost in the storm.
Question 3. Why does the narrator say, ‘‘I landed and was not sorry to walk away from the old Dakota’’?
Ans. The narrator took the risk of flying into the dark clouds. When there was a storm in the sky he didn’t have enough fuel to fly around the clouds. All the instruments of his plane had failed. It was difficult for him to land safely. However,the pilot of a strange black aeroplane guided him to the airport and the narrator was able to land safely. Thus his life was saved and he was not sorry to walk away from the old Dakota. He wanted to forget about this dangerous journey.
Question 4. What made the woman in the control centre look at the narrator strangely?
Ans. The narrator had been helped by the pilot of a black aeroplane to land safely. He wanted to thank him for helping him. But he couldn’t see the plane or the pilot anywhere. He was greatly surprised at this. So he went to the woman in the control tower and asked her about the other aeroplane. She looked at him strangely and told him that no other aeroplanes were flying that night because of the storm. Dakota was the only aeroplane she could see on the radar.
Question 5. Who do you think helped the narrator to reach safely? Discuss this among yourselves and give reasons for your answer.
Ans. It is, indeed, difficult to answer the question as to who helped the narrator to reach safely to the black aeroplane. The black aeroplane had no light on its wings. The pilot of the Dakota heard the pilot of the strange aeroplane asking him to follow him. How did the pilot of this aeroplane know that the pilot of the Dakota want to go to England? After about half an hour the first pilot was able to come out of the clouds and land safely. The pilot of the black aeroplane disappeared into thin air. But, according to the lady in the control tower, there was no other aeroplane in the sky at that time. So no definite explanation can be given for this mystery. It is quite possible that the pilot of the Dakota might be in a state of hallucination at that time.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
Question I. Study the sentences given below.
(a) They looked like black mountains.
(b) Inside the clouds, everything was suddenly black.
(c) In the black clouds near me, I saw another aeroplane.
(d) The strange black aeroplane was there.
The word ‘black’ in sentences (a) and (c) refers to the very darkest colour. But in (b) and (d) (here) it means without light/with no light.
‘Black’ has a variety of meanings in different contexts. For example:
(a) ‘I prefer black tea’ means ‘I prefer tea without milk’.
(b) ‘With increasing pollution the future of the world is black’ means ‘With increasing pollution the future of the world is very depressing/without hope’.
Now, try to guess the meanings of the Sword ‘black’ in the sentences given below. Check the meanings in the dictionary and find out whether you have guessed right.
1. Go and have a bath; your hands and face are absolutely black. ……………..
2. The taxi-driver gave Ratan a black look as he crossed the road when the traffic light was green. ………………..
3. The bombardment of Hiroshima is one of the blackest crimes against humanity. ………………..
4. Very few people enjoy Harold Pinter’s black comedy. …………….
5. Sometimes shopkeepers store essential goods to create false scarcity and then sell these in black. ……………..
6. Villagers had beaten the criminal black and blue. ………………
Ans. 1. Covered with dirt 2. angry 3. Worst, the most wicked 4. tragic 5. unrecorded transactions 6. severe beatings
II. Look at these sentences taken from the lesson you have just read:
(a) I was flying my old Dakota aeroplane.
(b) The young seagull had been afraid to fly with them.
In the first sentence the author was controlling an aircraft in the air. Another example is:
Children are flying kites. In the second sentence the seagull was afraid to move through the air, using its wings.
Match the phrases given under Column A with their meanings given under Column B:
III. We know that the word ‘fly’ (of birds/insects) means to move through the air using wings. Tick the words which have the same or nearly the same meaning.
swoop flit paddle flutter ascend float ride skim sink dart hover glide descend soar shoot spring stay fall sail flap
Ans. swoop ✓ flit paddle flutter ✓ ascend float ✓ ride skim ✓ sink dart ✓ hover ✓ glide ✓
descend ✓ soar ✓ shoot spring ✓ stay fall sail ✓ flap ✓
Have you ever been alone or away from home during a thunderstorm? Narrate your experience in a paragraph.
Ans. Caught in a Thunderstorm
Storms whether a hailstorm or a thunderstorm, can prove very dangerous. Once I was caught in a thunderstorm. My friend lives in Jaipur. Last year he had invited me to stay with him for a week. We planned to visit some historical places in Rajasthan. One day we were going to Jodhpur by car. A strong wind began to blow. Soon huge mountains of desert sand surrounded us. We could not move ahead as we could see nothing. We parked the car by the roadside. We heard the sound of trees falling nearby. We were terribly afraid. Soon there was thunder and lightning. It began to rain heavily. The sand settled down after some time. We heaved a sigh of relief and drove towards Jodhpur, which was now only a few kilometres away.