Long Questions and Answers
Question 1 : “They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly.” Why did the seagull’s parents threaten him and cajole him to fly? Compare it with your experiences when your parents encouraged you.
Answer : I can compare the situation with the way my parents cajole and sometimes pressurise me to focus on my study. Excess of either love or pressure will not do well for anyone. So a mix of carrot and stick always gives the desired results. Probably saegull’s parents have learnt this lesson through their experience. That is why they are following the carrot and stick policy. There can be variety of examples of our lives, like learning to ride a bicycle, or getting goose-bumps on a ferry wheel, or the apprehension while travelling alone for the first time. But parent’s pressure can give us a boost to excel in our lives though it seems bad many a times but the result can be seen with the example of the young seagull.
Question 2 : How did the mother make the young seagull come out of his fear and teach him the art of flying?
How did the seagull family help the young seagull overcome his fear and fly?
Why was the young seagull afraid of flying? What compelled the seagull to finally fly?
Describe the tricks used by the seagull family to help the young seagull overcome his fear and fly.
Answer : The young seagull was afraid of flying because he thought that his wings won’t support him and he would drown.
When his family left him alone on the ledge, he felt alone and was very hungry. They tried hard to make him fly but he never showed the courage to try. His mother knowingly tore a piece of fish near him and flew across to him with it. She came close to him but did not go nearer.
Already mad by hunger, he dived at the fish but fell into space. After sometimes, his wings spread outwards and he began to fly. His family landed on the sea ahead of him. They beckoned (attracted) him so he landed on the sea and began to sink into water but when his belly touched the water, he floated without any fear and difficulty.
Question 3 : Do you think that the seagull’s family loved him? Justify their attitude towards him?
Answer : The young seagull had two brothers and a sister. His parents flew with them to leave him alone on the ledge as he could not muster (gather) up the courage to fly with them. His parents could have fed him, but they refused to give him any food. They wanted him to fly and dive for food. They threatened to let him starve. They did so because they loved him. The parents were right in what they did because they wanted to teach him the importance of confidence and self-reliance. One can’t depend on one’s parents all one’s life to be fed. Thus, it was important for him to learn to fly, dive and search his own food. So, the attitude of the seagull family showed to him was actually their love, care and concern for him.
Question 4 : Why as the young seagull pretending to be asleep? What did he actually observe while doing so?
Answer : The young seagull came to the brink of the ledge. He stood there on one leg with the other leg hidden under his wing. He closed his one eye, then the other, and pretended to be falling asleep. He did so because he wanted to know whether they were interested in him or not but he observed that his family was not noticing him. He saw his brother and sister lying on the plateau (elevated plain). They were dozing (sleeping). His father was preening the feathers on his white back. Only his mother was looking at him. Now and then, she tore a piece of fish that lay at her feet. Then she scrapped each side of the back on the rock.
Question 5 : Fear and lack of confidence stop one from learning new things. Do you agree? How did these two traits of the young seagull make him coward? How did he overcome these shortcomings?
Answer : Yes, it is true that fear and lack of confidence stop one from learning new things as in the story, the young seagull lack the value of courage, and confidence in his character. He was too scared of flying. His family tried hard to make him fly but he refused to do so because of his fear of sinking in the seawater. They even scolded him for his cowardice. They tried to tempt him with food but he was not willing to learn flying. Once he dived, his fear disappeared and he enjoyed his first flight. It is a fact that unless we try for something and overcome our fear, we can’t learn anything.
Confidence and motivation are two most important traits that make any learning possible. These traits also give a person courage to face any situation and he can overcome his fear.