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ONCE upon a time there lived an old man in Almora. He was popularly known as Abbu Khan. He lived all alone except for a few goats which he always kept as pets. He gave his goats funny names such as Kalua, Moongia or Gujri. He would take them out for grazing during the day and talk to them as one talks to one’s own children; at night he would bring them back to his little hut and put a string round the neck of each goat.
Poor Abbu Khan was a little unlucky in the matter of his goats. Very often at night one of the goats would pull and pull at the string till it broke loose, and then would disappear in the hills beyond. Goats in hilly regions hate being tied to trees or poles. They love their freedom. Abbu Khan’s goats were of the best hill breed. They too loved their freedom. So whenever they got the chance, they would run away only to get killed by an old wolf who lived in the hills.
Whenever one of his goats disappeared, Abbu Khan was very sad. He did not understand why even the juiciest grass and grains that he gave them, and all the love that he showered on them, would not stop these unfortunate goats from running straight into the jaws of death. Are these goats mad, he wondered! Or was it their love for freedom! But freedom meant struggle, hardship, even death. Abbu Khan couldn’t solve the mystery.
One day, when all his goats had left him, Abbu Khan said to himself, “No more goats in my house ever again. I may yet live for a few more years but I’ll live without goats.” However, the poor old man was terribly lonely. He simply couldn’t do without his pets. Very soon he bought a young goat. He thought, “A young goat will stay with me much longer. She will soon begin to love me as well as the food I give her every day. She will never want to go to the hills.” And he laughed with joy.
The new goat was very pretty. She was white as snow, and had two little horns on her little head, and a pair of gleaming red eyes. She had a friendly temperament, and would listen to Abbu Khan’s tales with a lot of interest and affection. Abbu Khan called her Chandni, which means ‘moonlight’. He loved Chandni and would narrate to her stories of all his friends who were dead and gone. Several years passed; Chandni was still there. Abbu Khan believed that Chandni would never leave his compound for the free and fresh air of the hills beyond. Alas! he was mistaken again.
1. Why did Abbu Khan’s goats want to run away? What happened to them in the hills?
2. Abbu Khan said, “No more goats in my house ever again.” Then he changed his mind. Why?
3. Why did he buy a young goat?
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 7 English Chandni