His First Flight His First Flight

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Where was the young seagull?
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?
The young seagull was afraid to fly because the vast expanse of sea had scared him. He felt certain that his wings wouldn’t support him so he had bent his head and gone back to the little hole under the ledge where he slept at night. He was afraid of getting hurt and couldn’t muster the courage to fly. Yes, a new experience is bound to be intimidating and it is possible that all birds would be scared to some extent. Likewise a human baby would also find it challenging to walk from a crawling position.
“The sight of the food maddened him.” What does this suggest? What compelled the young seagull to finally fly?
“They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly.” Why did the seagull’s father and mother threaten him and cajole him to fly?
The young seagull was alone on his ledge. His two brothers and his sister had already flown away the day before. He had been afraid to fly with them. Somehow when he had taken a little run forward to the brink of the ledge and attempted to flap his wings he became afraid. The great expanse of sea stretched down beneath, and it was such a long way down — miles down. He felt certain that his wings would never support him; so he bent his head and ran away back to the little hole under the ledge where he slept at night. a. Why was the young seagull afraid? b. What happened when the seagull could not fly? c. What had seagull’s brothers and sisters done? d. Give a synonym of ‘on the verge’
That was twenty-four hours ago. Since then nobody had come near him. The day before, all day long, he had watched his parents flying about with his brothers and sister, perfecting them in the art of flight, teaching them how to skim the waves and how to dive for fish. He had, in fact, seen his older brother catch his first herring and devour it, standing on a rock, while his parents circled around raising a proud cackle. And all the morning the whole family had walked about on the big plateau midway down the opposite cliff taunting him with his cowardice. a. Why nobody came near the seagull? b. What had happened 24 hours ago? c. How and why did the family members taunt the seagull?
The sun was now ascending the sky, blazing on his ledge that faced the south. He felt the heat because he had not eaten since the previous nightfall. He stepped slowly out to the brink of the ledge, and standing on one leg with the other leg hidden under his wing, he closed one eye, then the other, herring and pretended to be falling asleep. Still they took no notice of him. He saw his two brothers and his sister lying on the plateau dozing with their heads sunk into their necks. His father was preening the feathers on his white back. Only his mother was looking at him. She was standing on a little high hump on the plateau, her white breast thrust forward. Now and again, she tore at a piece of fish that lay at her feet and then scrapped each side of her beak on the rock. a. What did the young seagull do at the brink of the ledge? b. What was the young seagull’s father doing? c. What effect did mother’s eating have on him? d. Find out the word in the passage which means the same as ‘making an effort to maintain feathers.’
Then a monstrous terror seized him and his heart stood still. He could hear nothing. But it only lasted a minute. The next moment he felt his wings spread outwards. The wind rushed against his breast feathers, then under his stomach, and against his wings. He could feel the tips of his wings cutting through the air. He was not falling headlong now. He was soaring gradually downwards and outwards. He was no longer afraid. He just felt a bit dizzy. Then he flapped his wings once and he soared upwards. “Ga, ga, ga, Ga, ga, ga, Gaw-col-ah,” his mother swooped past him, her wings making a loud noise. He answered her with another scream. Then his father flew over him screaming. He saw his two brothers and his sister flying around him curveting and banking and soaring and diving. a. What did the seagull feel the next moment? b. What did the young seagull’s mother do? c. What was the terror about? d. Give a synonym for the word ‘an uncomfortable feeling of spinning around and losing one’s balance.’
His parents and his brothers and sister had landed on this green flooring ahead of him. They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly. He dropped his legs to stand on the green sea. His legs sank into it. He screamed with fright and attempted to rise again flapping his wings. But he was tired and weak with hunger and he could not rise, exhausted by the strange exercise. His feet sank into the green sea, and then his belly touched it and he sank no farther. He was floating on it, and around him his family was screaming, praising him and their beaks were offering him scraps of dog-fish. a. What does green flooring refer to? b. What was the strange exercise? c. How was the family of the young seagull’s reacting and why?
Why did the seagull feel lonely?
Why did the seagull not fly?
How did his parents behave? What effect did it have on him?
What was the seagull’s condition?
What was his mother’s plan in flying towards him with a piece of fish? What did he expect her to do? What did she actually do?
How did the seagull feel on his first flight?
Why did he try to fly again when he came to sea bed? What was the outcome?
What had the young seagull see his parents do the day before?
What did the young seagull see his family do?
Describe the first flight of the young seagull.
How did the mother make the young seagull come out of his fear and teach him the art of flying?

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