Kerala State Board New Syllabus Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 1 Chapter 1 His First Flight Text Book Questions and Answers, Summary, Notes.
Kerala Plus One English Textbook Answers Unit 1 Chapter 1 His First Flight (Story)
His First Flight (Story) Textual Questions and Answers
Why was the seagull afraid to fly?
The seagull was afraid to fly because below him was the vast sea and he thought his wings would never support him and he would fall into the sea and die.
What did the parents do to motivate the young bird when it failed to muster up enough courage to fly?
They came around calling to him loudly. They scolded him and even threatened to starve him.
How did the parents support and encourage the young seagull’s brothers and sister?
They flew about wilfi them, trying to perfect them in the art of fiight. They taught them how to skim the waves and how to dive for fish.
Cite an instance which shows the pathetic condition of the young bird.
When the sun was shining hot, the young bird felt the heat all the more because he had not eaten anything since yesterday night. He searched everywhere but not a scrap of food was found. He even gnawed at the dried pieces of eggshell, from which he and his brothers and sister were hatched. It was like eating a part of himself.
How did the bird try to reach its parents without having to fly?
He trotted back and forth from one end of the ledge to the other, trying to find some means of reaching his parents without flying. But on each side of him the ledge ended in a sheer fall of a precipice with the sea under. There was a deep, wide crack between hi.m and his parents.
Why could the seagull not succeed in its attempt?
The seagull could not succeed in its attempt because there was nothing to walk on that would bring him to his parents. A deep, wide crack separated him from his parents and there was no way for him to reach them except by flying to them.
Do you think that the young seagull’s parents were cruel?
No, I don’t think so. They were not cruel, but they were wise.
Can you justify the attitude of the parents?
The parents were right in what they did. They wanted to teach him the importance of confidence and self¬reliance. One can’t depend on his parents all his life for his livelihood. He should learn to find food for himself once he reaches a certain stage of his life. We see the mother hen pecking and driving away her chicks once they are grown.
Your parents sometimes behave in the same manner. They may seem cruel and unrelenting. Does it mean that they do not love you?
The parents sometimes behave in this cruel and unrelenting manner to make you self-reliant. It doesn’t mean they do not love you. It means they love you and that is why they train you to be independent and self-reliant. If they treat you as a helpless baby all the time, you will remain a helpless baby. So it is their love that forces them to be seemingly cruel and unrelenting at times.
What prompted the young seagull to fly finally?
It was his hunger that prompted the young seagull to fly finally. He was very hungry and the mother would not give him the fish she had brought with her. She wanted him to fly to her to get it.
Why was the young bird terrified? How did it overcome its fear?
The young bird dived at the fish his mother was carrying. When he dived he fell outwards and downwards into space. The wind rushed against his breast feathers and his stomach and wings. He could feel the tips of his wings cutting through the air. He was not falling how. He was soaring. He thus overcame his fear.
How did the family support the seagull?
The mother flew past him, making joyful sounds. His father flew over him, screaming with joy. His two brothers and sister were flying around him, soaring and diving. In this way the family supported him.
Why could not the young seagull stand on the green sea?
The young seagull could not stand on the green sea because the legs would go down the water. But when his belly touched the water, he did not sink further.
Do you think the bird’s parents loved him? Why?
Of course, the bird’s parents loved him. They wanted to teach him howto be courageous and self-confident. The mother even came with a piece of fish to tempt him to attempt the flight. And when finally he flew, all the family members showed their joy by flying with him-and making happy noises.
Activity -I (Read and Respond)
What is the theme of the story?
The theme of the story is building confidence and self-reliance in youngsters.
What do you think is the real crisis faced by the young bird?
The real crisis faced by the young bird is his lack of confidence and his fear of going out of the protective shelter of his home.
What is your impression of the reaction of the parents in the story?
The parents are wise and clever. They want the young bird to be independent and self reliant. The mother brings a piece of fish very close to the young bird and forces him to leap forward to get it. That leap forces him to use his wings and fly. Initially he is terrified but soon he enjoys flying. The reaction of the parents was quite appropriate. They too are happy to see their child confident and self-reliant. That is why they fly with him cackling joyously.
Identify the words and expressions used in the story to express the thoughts, attitudes, movements, sounds, emotions, appearances, descriptions of the birds/places etc.
- The great expanse of the sea stretched down beneath.
- The rough, dirt-caked straw nest.
- The ledge ended in a sheer fall of a precipice, with the sea beneath.
- A deep wide crack.
- A little high hump on the plateau.
- He saw a vast green sea beneath him, with little ridges moving over it.
- He had taken a little run to the brink of the ledge and attempted to flap his wings.
- He failed to muster up the courage.
- His father and mother had come around calling to him shrilly, scolding him, threatening to let him starve.
- 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 seen his older brother catch his first herring and devour it.
- He then trotted back…, his long gray legs stepping daintily.
- Standing on one leg with the other leg hidden under his wing.
- 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.
- He uttered a low cackle.
- She halted, her legs hanging limp, her wings motionless.
- Then maddened by hunger, he dived for the fish.
- Then a monstrous terror seized him and his heart stood still.
- He uttered a joyous scream and flapped his wings again.
- They were beckoning to him, calling him shrilly.
- He was floating on it.
Do you think such expressions make the narrative more effective and engage your interest and attention?
Yes, I do. Such expressions make the narrative more effective and engage our interest and attention.
What is the message of the story?
The message of the story is that we have to be courageous, confident and self-reliant if we are to succeed in life.
Activity – II (review)
Based on the discussion, prepare a review of the story.
Liam O’Flaherty’s story ‘His First Flight’ is about a young seagull taking his first flight. The young seagull has two brothers and a sister. The parents of the seagull are very loving and caring and they train their children diligently to develop confidence and self-reliance in them. While the two older brothers and the sister fly away, the young seagull is reluctant to fly. His parents shout at him, scold him and even threaten him with starvation. But the young seagull prefers to stay in his rough, dirt-caked nest. But the excessive heat on the following day and hunger have troubled him.
He begs his mother who is on another cliff to give him some food. She comes with a piece of fish and forces her son to leave the ledge. Maddened by hunger, he dives at the fish which is close to him and he leaves the safety of the rock behind him. He is terrified. He then flaps his wings and finds they can carry him. He then lands on the sea. His feet sink and once again he is afraid. But when his belly touches the water he does not sink any further. He has now gained confidence. His parents and his brothers and sister join him in congratulating him on his successful first flight.
O’Flaherty has shown how good and sensible parents should behave. They train their children. When one of them is showing weakness, they shout at him, scold him and even threaten him with starvation. They do that with the welfare of the child in their mind. Then they help him to embark on his first flight. When he succeeds they are also happy.
O’Flaherty has used very simple and clear language to tell his story. There are many dramatic situations in the story. The descriptions of the places and the birds are excellent and the images we get are lively. He has used the figure of speech of personification extensively and powerfully injjis story. He has given a good message to all – To be successful we have to be courageous, confident and self-reliant. No pain, no gain. We can’t achieve anything without taking risks.
Activity – III (Tree Diagram)
Activity – IV (Think and Respond)
Do you believe that you also can fly high in your life?
Yes, I do believe that I also can fly high in my life. With determination and hard work I can do it.
What sort of support do you expect from your family?
I expect moral, financial and psychological support from my family. They should have faith in me.
Can their support alone help you in fulfilling your ambition?
No, their support alone will not help. I need to work hard and I should be courageous and self-confident. I will also need support from my teachers and my well-wishers.
What do you think are the requirements to attain success in life? Write them below:
b) Hard work and perseverance
c) Support of different kinds
e) Faith in self
f) Adequate material and intellectual resources
II. Read and Reflect
Let’s examine what Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has to tell us about being successful and unique.
His First Flight (Story) About the Author
– Liam O’Flaherty
Liam O’Flaherty (1896-1984) was an Irish novelist and short-story writer. His books are famous for their psychological vision into the problems of life and the ways of overcoming them. ‘His First Flight’ shows the importance of independence and self-confidence. It also shows the need to remain involved in family life. Throughout the story, the writer stresses the importance of self-esteem and self-reliance.
His First Flight (Story) Summary in English
– Liam O’Flaherty (1896-1984)
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. He had taken a little run forward to the edge of the ledge and tried to flap his wings. But he was afraid when he saw the vast sea under him. The sea was miles down. He thought his wings would not support him. So he ran back to the little hole under the ledge and he slept there at night.
His brothers and sister had shorter wings than him. Even when he saw them running to the end of the ledge, flapping their wings and flying away, he did not have the courage to fly. His father and mother shouted at him, scolded him and threatened to starve him. But he did not move.
This was yesterday. Since then nobody had come to him. The day before, all day long, he had watched his parents flying about with his brothers and sister. They were teaching them the art of flight. They taught them to skim the waves and to dive for fish. He saw his older brother catching his first herring and eating it, standing on a rock. His parents were happy to see their son catching his first fish. They circled around making a proud cackle. All the morning the whole family had walked about on the big plateau on the opposite cliff, laughing at the cowardice of one of their members.
The sun was now climbing the sky and it became very hot on the ledge. He felt the heat more because he had not eaten anything since yesterday night. He found a dried piece of mackerel’s tail at the far end of the ledge. There was no food left. He had searched everywhere, even in the rough, dirt-caked, straw nest where he and his brothers and sister were hatched. He even tried to get something from the dried pieces of eggshell. It was like eating a part of himself.
He then ran back and forth from one end of the ledge to the other. He wanted to reach his parents without having to fly. But at each side of him, the ledge ended in a sheer fall of precipice, with the sea under it. Between him and his parents there was the deep, wide crack.
He wanted to reach his parents by walking towards them. But there was no ledge to walk on. The only way to reach them was by flying to them.
He stepped slowly out to the very end of the ledge. He stood on one leg, hiding the other leg under his wing. He closed one eye. Then he closed the other eye. He pretended to be falling asleep. But his parents took no notice of him. He saw his brothers and sisters lying on the plateau dozing. His father was preening the feathers on his white back. Only his mother was looking at him.
She was standing on a high hump on the plateau. Her white breast was thrust forward. Now and again, she tore at a piece of fish at her feet, and then scraped each side of her beak on the rock. The sight of the food maddened him. He loved to tear food that way, scraping the beak to sharpen it. He made a low sound. His mother also made a similar sound and looked at him.
He cried ‘ga, ga, ga’, begging her to bring some food to him. She screamed back mockingly at him. He kept on making his sorrowful sounds and then suddenly uttered a joyful scream. His mother had picked up a piece of fish and was flying towards him. He leaned out eagerly, tapping the rock with his feet, trying to get nearer her. But when she was just opposite to him, she halted, her legs hanging limp, her wings motionless. The piece of fish was almost within the reach of his beak.
He waited a moment wondering why she is not coming nearer. Then, maddened by hunger, he dived at the fish. With a loud scream, he fell outwards and downwards into space. His mother had swooped upwards. As he passed under her, he heard the sound her wings were making.
He was terrified for a moment and his heart froze. He could hear nothing. It lasted only a moment. The next moment he felt his wings spreading outwards. He felt the wind under his stomach and against his wings. He could feel the tips of his wings cutting through the air. He was not falling now. He was now flying. He was no longer afraid. He just felt a little dizzy. Then he flapped his wings and soared upwards.
He made a joyful sound and flapped his wings again. He climbed higher. He raised his breast and banked against the wind. ‘Ga, ga, ga. Ga, ga, ga,’ he cackled. His mother also made a sound and flew past him, her wings making a loud noise. He answered her with another shout of joy. Then his father flew over him screaming. Then he saw his brothers and sister flying around him, soaring and diving.
He forgot he had not been able to fly. He started diving and soaring, making loud noises of joy.
He was near the sea now, flying right over it. He saw the vast green sea under him and little waves moving on it. He turned his beak sideways and crowded in a funny way. His parents and his brothers and sister had landed on this green floor in front of him. They were signaling to him, calling him. He dropped his legs to stand on the green sea. His legs sank into it. He screamed with fear and tried to rise again, flapping his wings. He was tired and weak with hunger and he could not rise, exhausted with the exercise. His feet sank into the green sea, and then his belly touched it and he sank no more.
He was floating on it. Around him his family was screaming with joy, praising him and they were offering him scraps of dog-fish.
He had made his first flight.
His First Flight (Story) Vocabulary