Richard Parker was so named because of a clerical error. A panther was terrorising the Khulna district of Bangladesh, just outside the Sundarbans. It has recently carried off a little girl. She was the seventh person killed in two months by the animal. And it was growing bolder. The previous victim was a man who had been attacked in broad daylight in his field. The beast dragged him off into the forest and his corpse was later found hanging from a tree. The villagers kept a watch nearby that night, hoping to surprise the panther and kill it, but it never appeared.
The Forest Department hired a professional hunter. He set up a small, hidden platform in a tree near a river where two of the attacks had taken place. A goat was tied to a stake on the river’s bank. He hunter waited several nights. He assumed the panther would be an old, wasted male with worn teeth, incapable of catching anything more difficult than a human. But it was a sleek tiger that stepped into the open one night: a female with a single cub. The goat bleated. Oddly, the club, who looked to be about three months old, paid little attention to the goat. It raced to the water’s edge, where it drank eagerly. Its mother followed it. Of hunger and thirst, thirst is the greater urge. Only once the tiger had quenched her thirst did she turn to the goat to satisfy her hunger.
The hunter had two rifles with him: one with real bullets , the other with immobilising darts. This animal was not a man-eater, but was so close to human habitation that she might pose a threat to the villagers, especially as she was with cub. He picked up the gun with the darts. He fired as the tiger was about to attack the goat. The tiger reared up and snarled and raced away. But immobilising darts don’t bring on sleep gently, they knock the creature out without warning. A burst of activity on the animals’s part makes it act all the faster.
The hunter, whose name was Richard Parker, picked it up and with his bare hands and remembering how it has rushed to drink in river, named it Thirsty. But the shipping clerk at the Howrah train station was evidently a man both confused and diligent. All the papers received with the cub clearly stated that its name was None Given. Richard Parker’s name stuck. I don’t know if the hunter was ever called Thirsty None Given!
i) corpse (line 6)
Answer : dead body.
ii) quenched (line 18)
Answer : satisfied.
iii) reared (line 23)
Answer : got up, rose up on its hind legs.
i) Why does the author say that the panther ‘was getting bolder’?
Answer : The panther was getting bolder has it had killed seven persons in two months. Very recently, it carried off a little girl and the previous victim had been a man who was attacked in broad daylight in his field.
ii) Why did the Forest Department hire a professional hunter?
Answer : The villagers kept a watch for the panther hoping to surprise and kill it, but it never appeared. So, the Forest Department hired a professional hunter to track and kill it.
iii) What did the hunter expect to encounter? What did he actually encounter?
Answer : The hunter expected that the panther would be an old, wasted animal with worn teeth, incapable of catching anything more difficult than a human. But what he actually encountered was a sleek tigress with a single cub.
iv) What did the tiger do before turning to attack the goat? Why did it do that?
Answer : The tiger followed the cub to the water’s edge and drank water thirstly before she turned to the goat to satisfy her hunger because thirst is a greater urge than hunger.
v) Why did the hunter decide to shoot the tiger though he knew it was not the man-eater?
Answer : The hunter decided to shoot the tiger though he knew that it was not the man-eater because it was very close to human habitation and might pose a threat to the villagers, especially since she was with cub.
vi) What name did the hunter give the cub? Why?
Answer : The hunter named the cub ‘Thirsty’ as he remembered how the cub had rushed to drink water in the river.
Answer : A panther was terrorising the village and killed many people. So a professional hunter was hired. He set up a platform near a river and tied a goat nearby. Instead of a panther a tigress with a cub appeared, quenched her thirst and then approached the goat. The hunter used an immobilising gun which made the tigress lose her balance and she collapsed. The cub was found in a bush close by.
ii) Give a suitable title to your summary in question 3 (i) . Give a reason to justify your choice.
Answer : “Richard Parker and Thirsty” is a suitable title for the summary as Richard Parker remembered how the cub rushed to drink water from the river and thus named him thirsty.
There were other boys in Manjari village, but Bisnu was the only one who went to school. His mother would not have fussed if had stayed at home and worked in the fields. That was what the other boys did, all except lazy Chittru, who preferred fishing in the stream or helping himself for the fruit other people’s trees. But Bisnu went to school. He went because he wanted to. No one could force him to go and no one could stop him from going. He had set his heart on receiving a good schooling. He wanted to read and write as anyone in the big world and so he walked to school every day.
A colony of langoors lived in the forest. They fed on oak leaves, acorns, and other green things and usually remained in the trees, coming down to the ground only to play or sun themselves. They were beautiful, supple-limbed animals, with black faces and silver-grey coats and long, sensitive tails. They leapt from tree to tree with great agility. The young ones wrestled on the grass like boys.
A dignified community, the langoors did not have the cheekiness or dishonest habits of the red monkeys of the plains; they did not approach dogs or humans. But they had grown used to Bisnu’s comings and goings and did not fear him. Some of the older ones would watch him quietly, a little puzzled. They did not go near the town; because the boys threw stones on them. And anyway, the forest gave them all the food they required. Coming from another direction was a second path, and at the junction of the two paths Sarru was waiting for him. Sarru came from a small viallage about three miles from Bisnu’s and closer to the town.
They hailed each other and walked along. They often met at this spot, keeping each other company for the remaining two miles.
‘There was a panther in our village last night’, said Sarru.
This information interested but did not excite Bisnu. Panthers were common enough in the hills and did not usually present a problem except during the winter months, when their natural prey was scarce.
‘Did you lose any animals’ asked Bisnu.
‘No, it tried to get into the cowshed but the dogs set up the alarm. We drove it off.’
‘It must be the same one which came around last winter. We lost a calf and two dogs in our village.’
‘Wasn’t that the one that left the shikaris wounded? I hope it hasn’t become a cattle-lifter’.
‘It could be the same. It has a bullet in its leg. These hunters are the people who cause all the trouble. They think it’s easy to shoot a panther. It would be better if they missed altogether, but they usually wound it.’
‘And then the panthers too slow to catch the barking-deer and starts on our own animals.’ ‘Were lucky it didn’t become a man-eater. Do you remember the man-eater six years ago? I was very small then. My father told me all about it. Ten people were killed in our valley alone.’
‘What happened to it?’
‘I don’t know. Some say it poisoned itself when it ate the headman of the village’.
Bisnu laughed. ‘No one liked the old villain. They linked arms and scrambled up the stony path to school’.
i) agility (line 13)
Answer : ease/quickness
ii) hailed (line 22)
Answer : greeted.
iii) villain (line 43)
Answer : rogue/wicked man
i) How was Chittru different from other boys?
Answer : Chittru was different because he was lazy and preferred fishing in the stream or breaking fruits off other people’s trees. He squandered his time loafing here and there.
ii) What was Bisnu’s amibition?
Answer : Bisnu’s ambition was to receive a good schooling. He went on his own accord to school, not forced by anyone, to read and write, so that he could get well educated like other children in the big world.
iii) What information did Sarru give Bisnu?
Answer : Sarru informed Bisnu about the sudden visit of a panther to his village, the previous night.
iv) How did the information affect Bisnu?
Answer : The information interested Bisnu but did not excite him because panthers were a common affair in hills.
v) Why did the panther become a cattle-lifter?
Answer : The panther had become a cattle-lifter because once it was wounded by the shikaris, who had aimed a bullet in his leg. The panther had consequently become slow paced. Unable to hunt fast running barking deer, it started killing cattles.
vi) Why joke does Sarru make?
Answer : Sarry jokingly told Bisnu, that six years back, a panther had killed around six people in their valley. Later it was reported, that the panther has poisoned itself after eating the headman of the village, since the headman was a rough, i.e., a viscious person.
Answer : A colony of langoors lived in the forest. They fed on oak leaves, acorns, and other green things and usually remained in the trees, coming down to the ground only to play or sun themselves. They were beautiful, supple-limbed animals, with black faces and silver-grey coats and long, sensitive tails. They leapt from tree to tree with great agility. The young ones wrestled on the grass like boys.
ii) Give a title to your summary in question 3(i). Give a reason to justify your choice.
Answer : Title – Gentle Langoors.
This title is apt because the narrator describes the langoors to be gentle unlike the naughty red monkeys.