The Book that Saved the Earth, Class 10 English, Footprints without Feet
Detailed explanation of “The Book that saved the Earth”, 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.
This play is set in the 25th century at the museum of Ancient History. A historian tells the students how the Earth had been invaded by Martians in the 21st century, but was saved by a book of nursery rhymes.
The first scene of the play belongs to the twenty-fifth century in the Museum of Ancient History on the planet Earth. The historian tells the audience that twentieth century was called the Era of books. Books contained information about everything. One of the strangest thing a book did was that it saved the Earth. The historian then tells them that a book saved the Earth from the Martian invasion of 2040.
The historian then shows the audience the invasion. Think-Tank is seated on a raised box with arms folded. He has a huge, egg-shaped head and he wore a long robe decorated with stars and circles. His apprentice Noodle is standing beside him at a switch-board. Think-Tank was the commander-in-chief and the ruler of Mars. He was being praised with proper salutation by his apprentice Noodle.
Think-Tank informs Noodle that he would invade the ridiculous planet called Earth. He wanted to communicate with the manned space probe to the planet Earth. Then, he consulted his speaking mirror about the most intellectually gifted being in the whole land. An off-stage voice told him that he himself is the most intellectually gifted being. Then, he moves proudly and said that Martians are much more attractive than Earthlings who have very small heads.
The scene shifts to Mars space control in the Centerville public library. The people (Martians) present in the space probe are Captain Omega, Sergeant Oop and Lieutenant lota. They are confused and puzzled. They are not familiar with books and do not understand them. Think-Tank and Noodle make a voice contact with the space probe. Captain Omega informs that they have reached Earth and are taking shelter in a square place (library). They did not have any idea about their location. lota thinks that the place must be some kind of a storage barn as it has two thousand peculiar items (books).
The people (Martians) in the space probe got confused about the strange items, all of them start making guesses about the books. Sergeant Oop thinks that the books are hats. But Think-Tank calls them sandwiches and orders the crew to eat them. The wise Noodle gently suggests that they may be devices of communication. So, Think-Tank asks the probe team to listen to them.
They do not hear anything. Again, Noodle very politely suggests that the Earthlings watched them. They cannot read the books and come to a conclusion that the printed lines and pictures must be some kind of code. Think-Tank then asked the probe team to eat the vitamins given to them to read the code. They follow him and are able to read the book. The lines are about Mistress Mary and her garden of cockle shells and silver bells.
As captain Omega read the rhyme Think-Tank thought that the Earthlings were very advanced. They have discovered to combine agriculture and mining. They can grow cockle shells and silver. They had taught their domesticated animals musical culture and space techniques. He thought they are about to send cows for an invasion to the moon. He is further terrified when he sees the picture of the fallen Humpty-Dumpty.
He thinks it to be his picture. He declares that the Earthlings have seen him and they are planning to capture Mars Central Control as well as him. Think-Tank cancels the invasion. He ordered Noodle to prepare a space capsule for him to escape. He asks his probe to leave. He orders his fleet to escape to the star Alpha Centauri and evacuate the entire planet of Mars.
The Historian reveals that it was ‘Mother Goose’, a book of rhymes, that saved the Earth. Mars and Earth were now friends. Noodle succeeded Think-Tank and became the head Mars. Earthlings had even set up a library in their capital city of Marsopolis. However, Martians could never gather the courage to read the ‘Mother Goose’ book.
|easel||a wooden frame to
support a blackboard or
|crew||group of people who
operate a ship, aircraft etc
|zulus||an ethnic group of people
belonging to South Africa
|barn||large farm building used for
|apprentice||trainee||haberdashery||shop which sells clothing,
small articles of dress, pins,
|peevishly||feeling or showing
|riffling||turning pages of a book
quickly and casually
|intellectually||possessing or showing