84. Reading Skills Comprehension: Art of Flying

Art of Flying

Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:       

That was twenty-four hours ago. Since then nobody had come near him. The day before, all day long, 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, in fact, seen his older brother catch his first herring and devour it, standing on a rock, while his parents circled around raising a proud cackle. And all the Morning the whole family had walked about on the big plateau midway down the opposite cliff taunting him with his cowardice.

The sun was now ascending the sky, blazing on his ledge that faced the south. He felt the heat because he had not eaten since the previous nightfall.

He stepped slowly out to the brink of the ledge, and standing on one leg with the other leg hidden under his wing, he closed one eye, then the other, and pretended to be falling asleep. Still, they took no notice of him. 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. Only his mother was looking at him. She was standing on a little high hump on the plateau, her white breast thrust forward. Now and again, she tore at a piece of fish that lay at her feet and then scrapped each side of her beak on the rock. The sight of the food maddened him. How he loved to tear food that way, scrapping his beak now and again to what it.

 “Ga, ga, ga,” he cried begging her to bring him some food. “Gaw-col-ah,” she screamed back derisively. But he kept calling plaintively, and after a minute or so he uttered a joyful scream. His mother had picked up a piece of the fish and was flying across to him with it.

Word-Meaning: Skim— to move lightly just above a surface , हल्के ,धरातल पर फुदकना   Herring— a soft-finned sea fish एक समुंद्री मछली  Devour—swallow,निगल जाना  Cackle— sound of cackling, चहकने की आवाज़ Cliff—peak  चोटी Cowardice— lack of courage कायरता Ascending— climbing up, चड़ रहा था Preening— making an effort to maintain feathers पंख साफ़ करना Whet— to sharpen तेज करना  Derisively— in a manner showing someone that she/ he is stupid, उपहासपूर्ण


1.How long had nobody come near him?

2. What were his parents doing with his brothers and sisters?

3. What had he seen his older brother doing?

4. Why was the whole family taunting him with his cowardice?

5. Did his father and two brothers take any notice of him?

6. Who was the only member looking at him?

7. What maddened him?

8. Why did he utter a joyful scream?


1. Nobody had come near him for twenty-four hours.

2. His parents were perfecting his brothers and sisters in the art, of flight, skimming and diving.

3. He had seen his elder brother catch his first fish and devour it.

4. The whole family was taunting him with his cowardice as he dared not fly independently.

5. No, they didn’t take any notice of him but simply ignored him.

6. Only his mother was looking at him.

7. The sight of food maddened him.

8. He uttered a joyful scream when he saw his mother flying to him with a piece of fish.

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