CBSE Class 10 English Mijbil the Otter Assignment

Mijbil the Otter

INTRODUCTION—
Gavin Maxwell lived in a cottage in Camusfearna, in the West Highlands in Scotland. He was fond of keeping pets. After the death of his pet dog Jennie, he was too sad to think of a dog again. The author was in Basra city of Iraq on a visit. There, one of his friends presented him an otter. He took his otter to England where he had a flat of his own. He had some interesting experiences during his air journey from Basra to Paris and London.

SUMMARY—
Early in 1956, Gavin Maxwell went to Southern Iraq. He decided to keep an otter as a pet instead of a dog as the place, he was living in Camusfearna, was ringed by water. The author’s friend suggested that he should get one from ‘The Tigris Marshes’ as there were plenty of otters there. They went to Basra to collect their mail but the author’s mail had not arrived. When his mail finally arrived, he went to his room and found two Arabs there. They had brought an otter for him.
The otter which looked more like a dragon, completely changed his life. He was covered with mud, which took months to shed.
The author named it Mijbil.
Aloof at first, he soon started taking an interest in his surroundings. He enjoyed playing with water in the bath tub.Mijbil soon started answering to his name. He would play for hours with a rubber ball. He would often lie on his back and juggle with small objects between his paws.
The author feared how he would fly with Mijbil to England as the British Airlines would not allow animals. Finally, he booked a flight to Paris and from there to London. Mijbil had to travel in a box. Mijbil was not used to that and tried to get out by tearing the inner lining. In the process, he had cut himself badly and was covered with blood. The author had to take him on the flight in that very way. He took air hostess in his confidence and she advised him to keep Mijbil on his knee.
Soon Mijbil disappeared from his box and created a commotion in the plane as people thought it was a rat. Mijbil and the author stayed in London for a month. Mijbil played for hours with toys like ping-pong balls, marbles, rubber, fruits, etc. The author used to exercise Mijbil on a lead outside. Mijbil would often take the author towards a primary school and gallop on its outer wall, much to the amusement of the pupils and distraction of the teacher. People wondered what kind of animal he was. Some thought it was a seal, others a squirrel or walrus, a hippo, a leopard etc.
The author, however, awarded the highest marks to a labourer who stared at Mijbil and demanded to know exactly what it supposed to be.

Extract Based Questions 

Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow :

1. Early in the New Year of 1956, I travelled to Southern Iraq. By then it had crossed my mind that I should like to keep an otter instead of a dog, and that Camusfearna, ringed by water a stone’s throw from its door, would be an eminently suitable spot for this experiment.

Question. Maxwell thought to keep what as a pet instead of a dog?
(i) an ox
(ii) an otter
(iii) an owl
(iv) a rabbit
Answer.(ii) an otter


Question. Camusfearna was suitable for his experiment, because it was ringed by __________.

(i) ice
(ii) fire
(iii) water
(iv) mountains
Answer.(iii) water


Question. Write the meaning of the phrase, ‘Crossed my mind’.

(i) a thought came into my mind
(ii) an idea vanished
(iii) something crossed my head
(iv) a question arised in my mind
Answer.(i) a thought came into my mind


Question. In which year did the author travel?

(i) 1965
(ii) 1986
(iii) 1946
(iv) 1956
Answer.(iv) 1956


2. Mijbil, as I called the otter, was, in fact, of a race previously unknown to science and was at length christened by zoologists ‘Lutrogale perspicillata Maxwelli’, or Maxwell’s otter. For the first twenty-four hours Mijbil was neither hostile nor friendly; he was simply aloof and indifferent, choosing to sleep on the floor as far from my bed as possible. The second night Mijbil came on to my bed in the small hours and remained asleep in the crook of my knees until the servant brought tea in the morning and during the day, he began to lose his apathy and take a keen, much too keen interest in his surroundings.

Question. For how many hours Mijbil was neither hostile nor friendly ?
(i) Eight hours
(ii) Forty-eight hours
(iii) Twenty-four hours
(iv) Seventy-two hours
Answer.(iii) Twenty-four hours


Question. When did the otter tried to be friendly ?

(i) next night
(ii) next afternoon
(iii) next morning
(iv) next afternoon
Answer.(ii) next afternoon


Question. Who bought tea in the morning ?

(i) Author’s friend
(ii) Author’s relative
(iii) Author’s mother
(iv) Author’s servant
Answer.(iv) Author’s servant


Question. Which word in the passage means the same as ‘Scientist’ ?

(i) Botanist
(ii) Zoologist
(iii) Physicist
(iv) Cardiologist
Answer.(ii) Zoologist


3. But the real play of an otter is when he lies on his back and juggles with small objects between his paws.Marbles were Mij’s favourite toys for his pastime. He would lie on his back rolling two or more of them up and down his wide, flat belly without ever dropping one to the floor. 

Question. What did otter juggled between his paws?
(i) Small objects
(ii) Tiny objects
(iii) Big objects
(iv) Huge objects
Answer.(i) Small objects


Question. What was the Mij’s favourite toys for his pastime?

(i) Ball
(ii) Dolls
(iii) Marbles
(iv) Cards
Answer.(iii) Marbles


Question. Find the word from the passage that means ‘most preferred’ ?

(i) juggles
(ii) pastime
(iii) belly
(iv) favourite
Answer.(iv) favourite


Question. How many marbles did Mij roll?

(i) one or more
(ii) two or more
(iii) four or more
(iv) three or more
Answer. (ii) two or more


Short Answer Type Questions 
 

Question. What happened when Maxwell took Mijbil to the bathroom ? What did Mijbil do two days after that ?
Ans. In the bathroom, Mijbil fumbled with the taps and went mad with joy on seeing full flow of water. He played, splashed and thoroughly enjoyed like a hippo in water. Aloof at first, he started answering to his name, played for hours with rubber ball and juggled with small objects, after two days.


Question. What guesses did the Londoners make about Mijbil ?

Ans. The Londoners made a variety of guesses as to what kind of creature Mijbil was, i.e., a baby seal, a squirrel,walrus, a hippo, a beaver, a bear cub, a leopard or a brontosaurus.


Question. Give an example from the text to show that Mijbil is an intelligent animal.

Ans. Mijbil’s behaviour and reactions to the circumstances throw light on the trait of intelligence in the otters in general. They have basic congeniality. And it is portrayed in his behaviour that it took him mere a day to shed his inhibitions and familiarize himself with the new surroundings. Mijbil’s intelligence and sense of logic is reflected in his turning on the tap to get a flow of water.

 

Long Answer Type Questions

Question. Should one own a pet to keep up with their status symbol ?
Ans.According to me, owning a pet just to keep one’s status symbol is absolutely wrong. The animals should be allowed to stay free in their natural habitat with their families and friends. They should not be trapped and sold on pet shops. But if at all any human has an urge of keeping a pet he/she should not keep it for showing status in the society. Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment, involving considerable responsibility. The decision to acquire one, therefore, should be made by the whole family, otherwise it would end up, being unwanted. In this story, Maxwell has very intelligently shown us how a pet has to be taken care of, loved and made a part of the family. Maxwell, who brought home an otter, tried to find out its feeling and thoughts and tried to provide an environment suitable for its existence.

 


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