Mijbil the Otter, Class 10, English, First Flight
Detailed explanation of “Mijbil the Otter”, including definitions of difficult words. In addition, the explanation is followed by a lesson summary. Also, NCERT Question and Answers are also provided to help students understand this Chapter and do well in their exams.
Early in 1956, Gavin Maxwell went to Southern Iraq. He decided to keep an otter as a pet instead of dog. His home in Scotland had much water around it. So, it would be suitable for an otter. The author’s friend suggested that he should get one from ‘The Tigris Marshes’ as there were plenty of otters there. He and his friend decided to go to Basra for an Otter.
His friend’s mail had arrived but the author’s mail was late. In the mean time, his friend left. At last, the author’s mail came. He went to his room in order to read it. There he found two Arabs .They had brought an otter for him.
The otter which looked more like a dragon, completely changed his life. It was covered with mud from head to tail. Under the mud , it had soft velvet skin. It took the author many days to completely remove the mud from his body. The author named it Mijbil. At first Mijbil was neither hostile nor friendly. He was simply aloof and indifferent. On the first night , it slept on the floor .The next night , he slipped on to the author’s bed and slept between his knees.
Soon Mijbil started taking an interest in his surroundings. When Mijbil was taken to the bathroom , he enjoyed playing with water in the bath tub. The author knew that the Otter are fond of water. Two days later, Mijbil escaped from the bedroom. He went to the bathroom. Mijbil soon started answering to his name. He spent most of his time playing with a rubber ball. He would often lie on his back and juggle with small objects between his paws.
Days passed peacefully at Basra. Then , it was time for the author to come back. The author feared how he would fly with Mijbil to England as the British Airlines would not allow animals. Finally, he booked a flight to Paris and from there to London. The airlines insisted that Mijbil should be packed in a box. The author put Mij into the box an hour before he started for the airport, so that Mij would become accustomed to it.
Mijbil was not used to that and tried to get out by tearing the inner lining. In the process, he had cut himself badly and was covered with blood.It was just ten minutes to the flights and the airport was five miles away. So , the author put him back in the box and hurried to the airport.
He took air hostess in his confidence and she advised him to keep Mijbil on his knee. But Soon Mijbil disappeared from his box and created a chaos in the plane as people thought it was a rat. The author saw the otter beneath the legs of an Indian man. When he tried to catch the otter, his face got covered in curry. The air hostess assured him that she would find the otter. After some time , the otter came to him and sat in his lap.
Mijbil and the author stayed in London for a month. Mijbil used to play for hours with toys like ping-pong balls, marbles, rubber, fruits, etc. The author place the ball on the sloping top of the suitcase. Then he would hurry and catch it before the ball fell off the suitcase. The author used to take otter out for exercise and walk. Mijbil would often take the author towards a primary school and gallop on its outer wall, much to the amusement of the pupils and distraction of the teacher. People wondered what kind of animal he was. Some thought it was a seal, others a squirrel or walrus, a hippo, a leopard etc. The author, however, awarded the highest marks to a labourer who stared at Mijbil and demanded to know exactly what it supposed to be.
|Crossed my mind||come into my mind||shuffling||to move things into different positions|
|ringed by||surrounded by||flick||a light, quick movement|
|stone’s throw||a very short distance||juggle||to keep several objects in motion in the air|
|eminently||extremely||dreaded the prospect||feared something that would happen
in the future
|tamed||made calm or pet||transporting||taking|
|cabled||sent a telegram||accustomed||get used to|
|breakdown||fault||appalling spectacle||a shocking scene|
|Squirmed||twisted about||whipped off||quickly took off|
|thralldom||being under the control of||blood spattered||covered in blood|
|fixation||a very strong attachment||whimpered||cried softly|
|Spacious||wide and open||shreds||small pieces|
|medievally-conceived||imagined the middle-ages||ricochetting||something that changes direction|
|dragon||an imaginary animal||infuriated||very angry|
|symmetrical||well proportioned||took her into my confidence||told her everything|
|pointed scales||sharp thin pieces of hard skin||retained||kept|
|mud armour||shield of mud||in a flash||very quickly|
|mole||an animal||squawks and shrieks||cries and high pitched sounds|
|at length||at last||portly||fat|
|hostile||unfriendly||craning my neck||raising my neck|
|aloof and indifferent||keeping a distance||distressed chitter||unhappy sound|
|crook||bend||bounded on to||climbed up quickly|
|apathy||absence of interest||nuzzle||rub gently with nose|
|plunging||diving||terrapin shell||shell of small turtle found in
|slosh||splash of water||native||one’s place of birth|
|so to speak||as it were||engrossed||busy|
|provoking||causing anger on some other reaction||ambush||to attack suddenly|
|fumbling||trying to do something in a clumsy way||crouching||keeping low|
|chitter||to make a twittering or chattering sound||trot off||to leave|
|lead||(here) a string||compulsive habits||habits that are impossible to control|
|continuous barrage of
|questions full of guesses||affront||in an offensive manner|
|upright||standing straight||gallop||to walk or run in a particular manner|
|frontage||front side||growled||to speak angrily|