Unseen Passage: One Would Imagine

One would imagine that at the very sight of the panther, deer, antelopes and its other preys would just run for their lives. Nothing of the sort. They all stand their ground and make such a loud noise that the panther is left with no other choice except to leave quietly. I have seen a tiny chital baby standing in the middle of an opening in the forest, stamping its feet on the ground and shooing away a tiger. With the white of its erect, tail showing, it kept up its shrill call until the tiger made itself scarce. No tiger in its senses would attempt to catch such an impertinent, brat, just as you would not dream of catching an offending crow cawing away in your verandah.

While the panther sticks to cover and hugs the edge of the forest, the game animals, on the other hand, like to assemble right out in open vast grazing grounds. Open spaces which the panther carefully avoids, are what the game animals deliberately seek.

It is difficult to describe the pandemonium kicked up by various animals when they spot or suspect a panther around. The chital strikes a shrill note, the kakar, emits a deafening bark and the sambar rings a bell. The peacock on its perch, the jungle fowl on the ground, and the monkey on treetops, all join in the chorus of condemnation of the panther. They curse the panther in their own inimitable language. The resulting confusion of sounds is so irritating to the sharp ears of the panther that it is left with no other option except to go away.

The panther has thus to deal with its ever alert and watchful associates who show no mercy and expect none. It is a fight between finesse and flight, between clever attack and skilful defence.

Contrary to the common belief, the panther never springs upon its prey. It stalks as close to its victim as it can manage, and then makes the final dash by rushing at it at a lightning speed.

Questions

  1. What strategy do animals like deer, antelopes, etc. adopt to drive away the panther ?
  2. How do the panther and the game animals (deer, antelopes, etc.) react to open spaces ?
  3. What effect does the loud noise made by birds and animals have on the panther ?
  4. How does the panther kill its prey ?
  5. Find the meanings of the words given below with the help of the options that follow:
    1. shrill – (i) rude (ii) high (iii) offensive (iv) terrible
    2. deliberately – (i) immediately (ii) cleverly (iii) intentionally (iv) naughtily
    3. condemnation – (i) disapproval (ii) dismissal (iii) revenge (iv) annoyance
    4. associates – (i) rivals (ii) neighbours (iii) superiors (iv) partners

Answers

  1. They all stand their ground and make a loud noise to force the panther to go away.
  2. The panther carefully avoids open spaces, sticks to the cover and hugs the edge of the forest.
  3. The loud noise is so irritating to the sharp ears of the panther that it is left with no other option except to go away.
  4. The panther stalks as close to its victim as it can manage, and then makes the final dash by rushing at it, at a lightning speed.
  5. Answer:
    1. (ii) high
    2. (iii) intentionally
    3. (i) disapproval
    4. (i) partners

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