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Class 4 :: English Literature :: The Two Questions - A traditional story in dramatic form (Cambridge Connection English)

  The Two Questions - A traditional story in dramatic form (Cambridge Connection English)

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The Owls in the Family

by Ruskin Bond

1. Based on what you have just read, say whether the following sentences are true or false.

a) The spotted owlets are the largest owl species. [F]

b) Spotted owlets and mynahs are friends. [F]

c) Spotted owlets live in holes on trees. [T]

d) Spotted owlets are completely nocturnal birds-they come out only at night. [F]

e) Spotted owlets eat other small animals. [T]

f) Spotted owlets have sharp eyes. [T]

g) Spotted owlets have weak beaks. [F]

h) Spotted owlets enjoy getting wet. [T]

2. The word 'character' is used for a person who appears in a story, book, play or a movie. There are four characters mentioned in the text. can you identify them?

= The four characters are - i) the narrator, ii) his grandfather, iii) his grandmother and iv) Aunt Mabel.

Reference to Context:

3. "I had placed one on a branch of the mango tree, and was stooping to pick up the other, when I received a heavy blow on back of my head"

a) Where was the narrator?

= The narrator was into the garden.

b) What had he placed on the mango tree? What was he 'stooping to pick up'?

= He had placed the first owlet on the mango tree.

He was 'stooping to pick up' the other owlet.

c) Who gave him the "heavy blow"?

= The mother of the owlets gave him a "heavy blow".

4. "I got the feeling that she was sorry for her behaviour the previous day, because she greeted us with a soft 'whoo-whoo'."

a) Who, according to the narrator, was feeling sorry?

=According to the narrator the mother of the two owlets was feeling sorry.

b) How did she show she was feeling sorry?

= She was sitting on the birdbath ten yards away. She greeted the narrator and his grandfather with a soft 'whoo-whoo'.

c) Why had she come there?

= She had come with her two little owlets to leave them at narrator's home. Her owlets were getting big for her to manage.

d) Give an account of the incident that happened the previous day.

= Ten days later the owlets were grown up well. The narrator and his grandfather took the young birds into the garden and released them. The narrator had placed one on a branch of mango tree and he was stooping to pick up the other. Just right the moment he received quite a heavy blow on the back of his head by the mother owl.

Then she attacked the Grandfather of the narrator after one or two seconds later. But he was swift enough to move and save himself from the blow of the mother owl. Then the narrator quickly placed the second owl under the mango tree and hid themselves in a safe distance. The mother owl flew down and led her young ones into the long grass at the edge of the garden.

e) Write one word/adjective to describe each human character of the story.

= i) The Grandfather of the narrator - affectionate;

ii) The narrator - animal-lover;

iii) The Grandmother of the narrator - adoring;

iv) Aunt Mabel - petrified;

5. "So the two owlets become the regular member of our household, and strongly enough, were among the few pets that grandmother took a liking too."

a) Do these line suggests that Grandmother liked most pets or that she did not like most pets?

= These lines do not suggest that Grandmother liked most pets. But those two owlets were so adorable that she became fond of them. She had already few pets with her.

b) Who were the members of the household besides Grandmother?

= Besides Grandmother, Aunt Mabel and Grandfather and those two owlets were the members of the household.

c) Which member of the household did not like the owlets? How do you know?

= Aunt Mabel did not like the owlets. Because she would run shrieking from the room every time one of the birds went close to her in a friendly manner.

Read, Reflect and Write:

6.  What do we know about the house where the narrator lived? Describe it based on the details given in the story.

= The house where the narrator lived had a veranda with steps. The house was with roof and rainwater pipe emerged through the roof. There was a garden nearby the house. There were old mango and tamarind tree. There were many pets in the house. We can also see that there used to be birdbath in the house.

7. List six sounds of an owl that the narrator has given in the text.

= Six sounds of an owl that the narrator has given in the text are - i) hissed, ii) clacked, iii) crooned, iv) gurgled, v) 'whoo-whoo' and vi) shrieks.

8. How did the owlets show their affection for Grandmother?

= The owlets began to show affection like any one in a petticoat. In response to Grandmother's voice, the owlets would make sounds as gentle and smoothing as the purring of a cat.

9. How did the mother owl show that she cared for the little owlets?

= The mother of the two owlets left a mouse for the owlets when they were staying at the narrator's room. The time when the narrator placed the two owlets on the mango tree, the mother flew down leading her young ones into the long grass at the edge of the garden. The mother brought them back to the narrator's house as they were getting big for her to manage. She wanted them to have a good home.

10. Did the narrator and his Grandfather treat animals with respect? Give reason for your answer.

= The narrator and his Grandfather treated the animals with respect. They one owlet on the ground by the veranda. They got another owlet. They treated and fed them properly. They tried to make them free by placing them on the mango tree of their garden.

About the Author:

Ruskin Bond (b. 1934) was born in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, India. He has written many poems and stories for children. Here is what he said in a recent interview: 'I'm shy. But it is easier to interact with children. Just the other day, a boy said he wanted to become a writer but couldn't manage to fill even a single page. I said, "Write one sentence, later another; go on adding; you'll find the page full".'

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