29. Reading Skills Comprehension: The Story of Aunt

Read the following passage carefully.                                                                 

The Story of Aunt

Two small girls and a small boy Cyril were in a railway carriage. It was uncomfortably warm and all the young occupants were restless. Their aunt, who was also travelling along was unable to keep the kids occupied. The aunt started telling them a story about a girl. This girl was chased by a mad bull. But the bull was driven away by the people. The aunt went on to tell the three kids that the people saved the girl from the bull because she was a very good girl. It was her inherent goodness that made people save her. This story did not seem to interest the three of them. They wanted to know if she wouldn’t have been saved had she not been good. The aunt’s answer did not convince the kids.

A young bachelor. who was also travelling in the same carriage, was quietly observing all this. He told the aunt that she was not a good storyteller. The aunt challenged the bachelor to narrate a story that would thrill the kids and also be understood by them. The bachelor started a story about an exceptionally good girl, Bertha. who was eaten up by a wolf in the park of a prince? She was the only girl in that town to have won three medals — all for her obedience, punctuality, and good behaviour. She used to wear all these three large medals, which always clinked against each other as she walked.

 In the park, one day Bertha is chased by a wolf, and she hides behind the thick myrtle bushes. The wolf follows the trembling Bertha to the bushes. However, the smell of myrtle is so strong that the wolf

cannot smell the hiding Bertha. Just when the wolf is about to retreat, her medals clink against each other. The wolf then pounces upon the girl and eats her up to the last bone.

The three children liked the story but the aunt considered the story improper. But the young man who was preparing to leave the carriage was happy to have kept the impatient children quiet for some time and thought that for the next few months the children would trouble their aunt with demands for an ‘improper story’.

On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the following questions briefly

(a) Why were the young occupants restless?                                                         

 (b) Why did the people save the girl from the bull?                                             

(c) For what did Bertha win the three medals?                                                     

(d) Why can’t the wolf smell the hiding Bertha?                                                     

(e) How does the wolf come to know that Bertha is hiding behind the thick myrtle bushes?

(f) While the young man was preparing to leave, what did he think about the children?

(g) Why did aunt start telling the story?

(h) Why was the young man who was leaving the carriage happy?

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