The things for the trip
The next evening, the friends met to discuss and chalk out their plans. Harris said that the first thing to settle was what to take with them. He asked the narrator (Jim) to get a piece of paper and write down, grocery catalogue. Then Harris seemed eager everything on himself back of other people.

Uncle Podger
Harris reminded the narrator (Jim) of his poor Uncle Podger. There was a lot of commotion in the house when Uncle Podger undertook to do a job. He involved all the members of the family when he was hanging a picture on the wall. He would lift up the picture and drop it, and it would come out of the frame, and he would try to save the glass and cut his finger, and then he would look for his handkerchief. He could not find it because it was in the pocket of his coat and he was sifting on it. And then he would shout, “oh, you can give it up, I have found it myself now.” Then he would ask for the hammer. When all the members did not find it, he would again shout at them.  After several mishaps, he would be able to hang the picture on the wall at midnight. The wall would be in shambles. He would, then, come down after hanging the picture and survey the mess that he had created and say proudly, “Why, some people would have had a man in to do a little thing like that”. Jim thought that Harris would be exactly like Uncle Podger when he grew up.

Travelling light
The first list that the friends made had to be discarded because it was too long. George suggested that they should make a list of those things that they couldn’t do without. Jim remarked that George sometimes came out with sensible Suggestion. He then commented that many people loaded their boats with unnecessary and useless things. He opined that the boat of life should be light. A person should take along with him only those things which were needed. He should take with him one or two friends, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough food and sufficient clothes and drinks. He would find the boat easier to pull.

Individual tastes
George was to prepare the list and he said that they would carry a boat cover instead of a tent. Both George and Harris proclaimed that they loved an early morning swim. Jim did not like to get up early in the morning and thus hated an early morning swim. Harris said that it always gave him an appetite. George did not want him to have a swim because in that case, he would eat more.
Jim persuaded George to let Harris have a bath. George, then, told them that two suits of flannel would be enough. They would wash them on the river. Jim and Harris came to know later on that George was an imposter and he knew nothing about washing and clothes.



Jim (The narrator):  Jim who laughed at George earlier now gives credit to him for thinking sensibly. Jim  becomes philosophical in his comments. He says that the boat of Life should be light because it will be easier to pull.

George : George is given the responsibility of preparing the grocery catalogue. He suggests that they should make a list of those things that they can’t do without. It is considered a sensible suggestion by Jim.

Harris : Harris wishes to command others. He does not want to do work himself but wants other people to do it. He is like Uncle Podger who simply commanded others to get the work done. Hams loves an early morning swim because it gives him appetite.


The friends now decide about the things to be taken on the trip. Harris who does not want to do work himself is compared to Uncle Podger. The character of Uncle Podger is described in details and in a humorous manner. Jim (the narrator) makes a philosophical comment. He says that the boat of life should be Light because it will be easier to pull.

Q.1. Why should you not Jump the red. light?
Ans. We should not jump the red-light because it can cause an accident.
Q.2. Will you throw the wet towel on a bed after taking your bath ? Why! Why not?
Ans. I’ll not throw the wet towel on a bed because it will spoil the bed-sheet.
Q.3. Do you like to get up early in the morning and go out for a walk?
Ans. Yes.
Q.4. Should you prepare a list of things that you want to carry with you when go out for a picnic ? Why/Why not?
Ans. We should prepare a list of things because in that we’ll not forget to carry essential things.
Q.5. What game do you like to play?
Ans. Basketball.



  1. Analyse the character of Uncle Podger in your own words.
    Ans. Uncle Podger’s episode evokes both irritation as well as humour. He seems to have a superiority complex and looks down upon other’s abilities. He claims to be the only person who knows how to do a job with a perfect finish. But he seems to be unable to do anything independently as he employs every member of his family in the task and delegates different duties to all of them. He keeps them on their toes but unfortunately drops the picture himself and cut his hand when everything was arranged. He is forgetful also and does not remember where he put the hammer. He forgets where he left his coat but expects others that they must remember it. He drops the nail and forgets the mark where it was to be fixed and makes a fool of himself. However his deeds amuse the readers but his arrogance irritates them.
    The episode shows Uncle Podger trying to hang a picture on the wall. He wants all the family members to help him in the task. He entrusts everybody with some duty and when everything has been arranged, he lifts up the picture but drops it accidentally and in an attempt to save it, cuts his hand and then runs around the whole house to find his handkerchief which he kept in the pocket of his coat. He forgets that the coat was put on the chair and he himself was sitting on it. In his second attempt to hang the picture he falls down on the piano; and smashes his thumb rather than the nail with the hammer in his third attempt. Now he drops the nail, forgets where the hammer is then he loses the sight of the mark he had made on the wall, cries for the children to help and then he rebukes them all for being careless and boasts he is more intelligent than others.

    1 . What did Harris ask Jim and George to do ? What was his attitude to the situation?
    Ans. Harris asked Jim to get a piece of paper and write down. He asked George to make a grocery catalogue. He seemed eager to take the burden of everything on himself and then put it on the back of others.
    Q.2. What happened when Uncle wanted to hang a picture wall ?
    Ans. Uncle Podger created a lot of commotion in the house. He involved all the members of the family in that task. He commanded every one to help him finish the job.
    Q.3. Why was the first list discarded?
    Ans. The first list prepared by the friends had to be discarded because it was too long.
    Q.4.What did George suggest ?
    Ans. George suggested that they should make a list of things that they could not do without.
    Q.5. What was Jim’s comment?
    Ans. Jim commented  that the boat of life should be light because it would be easier to pull.He meant that a person should possess only those things that were needed in life.