NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English First Flight
Chapter 8 Mijbil the Otter
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 106)
Question 1 What experiment did Maxwell think Camusfearna would be suitable for?
Answer Maxwell thought that he would keep an otter instead of a dog as a pet. Camusfearna, ringed by water a very short distance from its door, would be an eminently suitable spot for the experiment.
Question 2. Why does he go to Basra? How long does he wait there, and why?
Answer He went to Basra to collect and answer his mail from Europe. He had to wait there for 5 days as his mail did not reach on time. The call had to be booked 24hours in advance in those days. Then he tried to make a phone call but phone line was not working properly on the first day. Next day it was public holiday so it was not operational. Finally after wait of 5 days his mail arrived.
Question 3. How does he get the otter? Does he like it? Pick out the words that tell you this.
Answer When he received his mail, he carried it to his bedroom to read. There he saw, two Arabs and beside them was a sack that twisted from time to time. They handed him a note from his friend saying that he has send him an otter. Yes, he liked it. We know this because he uses the term otter fixation to refer to his feeling towards the other.
Question 4. Why was the otter named ‘Maxwell’s otter’?
Answer The otter was named by zoologists as Lutrogale Perspicillata Maxwelli. Hence, it was called Maxwell’s otter in short.
Question 5. Tick the right answer. In the beginning, the otter was
• aloof and indifferent
Answer In the beginning, the otter was aloof and indifferent.
Question 6 What happened when Maxwell took Mijbil to the bathroom? What did it do two days after that?
Answer When the author first took Mijbil to the bathroom, the otter first went wild with joy in the water for half an hour, plunging and rolling in it, shooting up and down the length of the bathtub under water and making enough slosh and splash for a hippo.
After two days , the otter suddenly disappeared from his bedroom. By the time he got there, Mijbil was up on end of the bath tub and fumbling at the taps with paws. In less than a minute, it had turned the tap far enough to produce some water and after a moment achieved the full flow.
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 108)
Question 1. How was Mij to be transported to England?
Answer The airlines insisted that Mij should be packed in a box not more than eighteen inches square, so that it can be carried out on the floor near near his feet. As British airlines did not allow pets on board the author had to book a ticket on a different airline from Iraq to Paris and then Paris to London.
Question 2. What did Mij do to the box?
Answer The box was lined with a metal sheet. Mij didn’t feel comfortable in the box and tried to escape. In his attempt to escape, Mij tore into the metal lining of the box and in this process he hurts himself and started bleeding.
Question 3. Why did Maxwell put the otter back in the box? How do you think he felt when he did this?
Answer As there was no other way to carry Mij to London so Maxwell had put it in the box again. He must have felt pity on the way the otter hurt himself. Moreover, he must be worried as well.
Question 4. Why does Maxwell say the air hostess was “the very queen of her kind”?
Answer The air hostess was very sympathetic after listening to Maxwell’s story. Maxwell said that the air hostess was the very queen of her kind because she was extremely friendly and helpful. He took her into his confidence about the incident with the box. She understood how he might be feeling and then gave him permission to take the otter out of the box and have it on his knee. Hearing this, he developed a profound admiration for her ,for she understood the pain of otter and its owner.
Question 5. What happened when the box was opened?
Answer As soon as the box was opened, Mij went out of the box. He disappeared at a high speed down the aircraft. There were cries all around. A women stood up on her seat screaming that there was a rat. He saw Mij’s tail disappearing beneath the legs of an Indian passenger. He dived for it, but missed. The air hostess suggested him to be seated and that she would find out the animal and bring it back to him. After a while, Mij returned to him.
Oral Comprehension Check (Page 110)
Question 1. What game had Mij invented?
Answer Mij invented a game with ping-pong ball.One of the author’s suitcase was damaged and had a slope on the top part. Mij would put the ball on the high end and run to catch it as it slided to the lower end.
Question 2. What are ‘compulsive habits’? What does Maxwell say are the compulsive habits of
(i) school children
Answer Compulsive habits are usually strange act or behaviour which a person does without clear reason.
On their way to and from school , children must place their feet exactly on the centre of each paving block.Similarly Mijbil while on its way to home would jump over the boundary wall railing and run at full speed throughout its length.
Question 3. What group of animals do otters belong to?
Answer Otters belong to a comparatively small group of animals called Mustellines. The other animals of this group are badger, mongoose, weasel, stoat, mink and others.
Question 4. What guesses did the Londoners make about what Mij was?
Answer The londoners who saw Mij made different guesses. Their guesses ranged from a baby seal, a squirrel, a walrus , a beaver , a hippo to a brontosaurus. As otters are not found in England so Londoners made the wildest possible guesses about Mij.
Thinking about the Text (Page 110)
Question 1. What things does Mij do which tell you that he is an intelligent, friendly and fun-loving animal who needs love?
Answer Mij invented his own game out of ping-pong ball. He was a water lover and screwed the tap until water begin to flow and then he would play and splash in the water. He was aloof and indifferent in the beginning but gradually he formed a special attachment with Maxwell. We can say this after the incident, When Maxwell locked Mij in a box it become desperate to come out as it felt very uncomfortable there. After Maxwell took him out, it clung to his feet. It enjoyed playing all kinds of games. It would play with selection of toys, ping-pong balls, marble , rubber fruit. He responds when Maxwell calls his name.
Question 2. What are some of the things we come to know about otters from this text?
Answer Otters belong to a comparatively small group of animals called Mustellines, shared by badger, mongoose, weasel, stoat, mink and others.Maxwell’s otter was of a race previously unknown to science and was at length named by zoologists Lutrogale Perspicillata Maxwelli. They are found in large numbers in marshes.
Question 3. Why is Mij’s species now known to the world as Maxwell’s otter?
Answer Maxwell’s otter was of a race previously unknown to science and was at length named by zoologists Lutrogale Perspicillata Maxwelli, hence, it is known as Maxwell’s otter in short.
Question 4. Maxwell in the story speaks for the otter, Mij. He tells us what the otter feels and thinks on different occasions. Given below are some things the otter does. Complete the column on the right to say what Maxwell says about what Mij feels and thinks.
|What Mij does
|How Mij feels or thinks
|Plunges, rolls in the water and makes the water splosh and splash
|Screws the tap in the wrong way
|Nuzzles Maxwell’s face and neck in
|What Mij does
|How Mij feels or thinks
|Plunges, rolls in the water and makes the water splosh and splash
|He thinks it is a hippo and is very happy, went wild with joy.
|Screws the tap in the wrong way
|He chitters with irritation and disappointment.
|Nuzzles Maxwell’s face and neck in the aeroplane
|distressed chitter of recognition and welcome
Question 5. Read the story and find the sentences where Maxwell describes his pet otter. Then choose and arrange your sentences to illustrate those statements below that you think are true.
(i) makes Mij seem almost human, like a small boy.
(ii) shows that he is often irritated with what Mij does.
(iii) shows that he is often surprised by what Mij does.
(iv) of Mij’s antics is comical.
(v) shows that he observes the antics of Mij very carefully.
(vi) shows that he thinks Mij is a very ordinary otter.
(vii) shows that he thinks the otter is very unusual.
Thinking about the Language (Page 111)
I Describing a Repeated Action in the Past
To talk about something that happened regularly in the past, but does not happen any longer, we use would or used to. Both would and used to can describe repeated actions in the past.
(a) Mij would follow me without a lead and come to me when I called his name.
(b) He would play for hours with a selection of toys.
(c) On his way home… Mij would tug me to this wall.
(d) When I was five years old, I used to follow my brother all over the place.
(e) He used to tease me when Mother was not around.
To describe repeated states or situations in the past, however, we use only used to. (We cannot use would for states or situations in the past.) So we do not use would with verbs like be, have, believe, etc. Look at the following sentences.
(a) When we were young, we used to believe there were ghosts in school.
(Note: believe shows a state of mind.)
(b) Thirty years ago, more women used to be housewives than now.
(Note: be here describes a situation.)
From the table below, make as many correct sentences as you can using would and/or used to, as appropriate. (Hint: First decide whether the words in italics show an action, or a state or situation, in the past.) Then add two or three sentences of your own to it.
|would used to
|be fond of musical evenings.
|Every evening we
|take long walks on the beach.
|Fifty years ago, very few people
|Till the 1980s, Shanghai
|have very dirty streets.
|spend his holidays by the sea.
1) Emperor Akbar used to hold his courts once in a week.
Emperor Akbar would be fond of musical evenings.
2) Every evening we used to run a race.
Every evening we would talk long walks on the beach.
3) Fifty years ago, very few people used to own cars.
Fifty years ago, few people would by cars.
4) Till the 1980s Shanghai used to have very dirty streets.
Till the 1980s Shanghai would have good roads.
5) My uncle used to spend his holidays by the sea.
My uncle would never drive a bicycle.
II. Noun Modifiers
To describe or give more information about a noun (or to modify a noun), we use adjectives or adjectival phrases. Look at these examples from the text:
(a) An eminently suitable spot
(b) His wide, flat belly
(c) Symmetrical pointed scales
(d) A ricocheting bullet
Nouns can also be used as modifiers:
(a) The dinner party
(b) A designer dress
(c) The car keys
We can use more than one noun as modifier. Proper nouns can also be used:
(a) The Christmas dinner party
(b) A silk designer dress
(c) The Maruti car keys
In the examples below, there is an adjectival phrase in front of a noun modifier:
(a) The lovely Christmas party
(b) A trendy silk designer dress
(c) The frightfully expensive golden Maruti car keys
1. Look at these examples from the text, and say whether the modifiers (in italics) are nouns, proper nouns, or adjective plus noun.
(i) An otter fixation
(ii) The iron railings
(iii) The Tigris marshes
(iv) The London streets
(v) soft velvet fur
(vi) A four-footed soccer player
3. Proper noun
4. Proper noun
5. Adjective plus noun
6. Adjective plus noun
2. Given below are some nouns, and a set of modifiers (in the box). Combine the nouns and modifiers to make as many appropriate phrases as you can. (Hint: The nouns and modifiers are all from the texts in this book.)
|Ordinary gift, birthday gift.
|First time, family time, college time
|Plump physique, ordinary physique
|Incorrigible girls, plump girls, college girls
|Uncomfortable thoughts, ridiculous thoughts, ordinary thoughts, good thoughts, invigorating thoughts
|Loud scream, heartbreaking scream
|First flight, ordinary flight, uncomfortable flight
|Black coffee, ordinary coffee
|Tremendous farewell, college farewell
|Incorrigible chatterbox, ridiculous chatterbox
|Panoramic view, ordinary view
|Ordinary dresses, birthday dresses, marriage dresses
|White handkerchief, clean handkerchief
|Birthday celebration, tremendous celebration
III. Read this sentence:
He shook himself, and I half expected a cloud of dust.
The author uses a cloud of dust to give a picture of a large quantity of dust.Phrases like this indicate a particular quantity of something that is not usually countable.
For example: a bit of land, a drop of blood, a pinch of salt, a piece of paper.
1. Match the words on the left with a word on the right. Some words on
the left can go with more than one word on the right.
(i) a portion of – blood
(ii) a pool of – cotton
(iii) flakes of – stones
(iv) a huge heap of – gold
(v) a gust of – fried fish
(vi) little drops of – snow
(vii) a piece of – water
(viii) a pot of – wind
1 A portion of cotton
2. A pool of water
3. Flakes of snow
4. A huge heap of stones,
5. A gust of wind
6. Little drops of blood, Little drop of water
7 A piece of fried fish
8. A pot of gold
2. Use a bit of/a piece of/a bunch of/a cloud of/a lump of with the italicised nouns in the following sentences. The first has been done for you as an example.
(i) My teacher gave me some advice My teacher gave me a bit of advice.
(ii) Can you give me some clay, please.
(iii) The information you gave was very useful.
(iv) Because of these factories, smoke hangs over the city.
(v) Two stones rubbed together can produce sparks of fire.
(vi) He gave me some flowers on my birthday.
1. My teacher gave me a bit of advice.
2. Can you give me a lump of clay please?
3. The bit of information you gave was very useful.
4. Because of, these factories, a cloud of smoke hangs over the city.
5. Two pieces of stone rubbed together can produce sparks of fire.
6. He gave me a bunch of flowers on my birthday.