Unseen Passage: The Miraculous Escape

Reading Comprehension

The Miraculous Escape

I had been very wealthy and prosperous and was leading a very comfortable life. I had all the worldly pleasures with me. But soon I became bored of my idle life. The urge to go on a voyage became stronger and stronger day by day. It haunted me like anything. So one day I boarded a ship and went trading from island to island with other merchants.

When we started, the weather was fine and the sea was calm. But on the fourth day of our voyage, our ship was caught in a terrific/terrible hurricane and we wandered from our set course. The tempest continued for several days and drove us near an island. The captain of the ship was reluctant to cast anchor at the port as it was a much dreaded place.

The violent waves of the sea had exhausted us. We were all tired and hungry so we went in search of food and water. We were fortunate enough to find fruit trees and a stream of fresh and cool water which gave us strength and energy and relieved us from hunger.

It had started getting dark. As we were tired we went to sleep but were soon startled by a rustling noise which came from a very long and huge python like serpent gliding swiftly towards us. We ran to save our lives but the serpent was quick enough to swallow one of my companions. We kept running till we had covered a good enough distance from the serpent. We felt a bit relieved but at the same time sad as we had lost a friend of ours. We took shelter on the top of a tree and thought ourselves to be safe.

But we were mistaken for we had hardly slept a little time when we heard a hissing sound which alarmed and frightened us. Coiling itself round the tree, the serpent reached my other companion who was positioned somewhat lower than me on the tree. It swallowed him and went away. Terror stricken I clung to the branch of the tree tightly and I did not know when I fell asleep. It was daylight when I awoke. I climbed down. It seemed to me that I had no courage left. It took me no time to realise that if I would not think of a way to escape soon, I would be a dead man. It was just a matter of time when I would also be swallowed like my two other companions. The instinct to prevent one’s life is greater than any fear or frustration.

I thought I should spare no means to save myself. I collected a lot of dry wood and bushes and tied them into a bundle with reeds. I arranged them in a circular structure round the tree and tied some of them with the branches of the tree. In this way I made a tent like structure in which I sat after dusk and securely tied from within. I had the satisfaction that whatever I could do I did it to prevent myself. This time when the serpent arrived he crept round the tree but he could not penetrate the defensive structure I had made around me. It just sat and waited the whole night like a cat that waits for the mouse to emerge out of its hole.

At dawn the serpent crept back but I dared not come out of my fortress. I lay there half dead and almost suffocated. When the Sun began to shine, I came out of my wooden fortress. I was so desperate that I ran towards the seashore. When I was about to jump into the sea, I saw a ship sailing at some distance. I shouted wildly, I took off my shirt and waved it too, which attracted the sailors on the ship and a rescue boat was immediately sent for me. This was my miraculous escape from the deadly serpent.

Discuss what effect did the story have an you? What would you have done, if you were in the narrator’s place? Does it teach you how to save yourself from danger? Now based on your reading of the story, answer the questions that follow. You may read the story again.

  1. What made the narrator go on a voyage?
    1. He was rich and satisfied with his life.
    1. He felt bored of his life.
    2. He had urge to go on a voyage.
    3. He was adventurous.
  2. How did the narrator and his friends feed themselves?
    1. They ate fish.
    2. They could not find anything to eat.
    3. They ate fruits to survive.
    4. They ate the food they had brought with themselves.
  3. The narrator and his companions were on the tree. The serpent swallowed his companion but not the narrator. Why?
  4. How did the narrator save himself from the serpent?
  5. Find the words in the story which mean the nearest to the words given below.
    1. rich (First para)
    2. moved (Second para)
    3. tired (Third para)
    4. scared (Fifth para)
    5. urge (Fifth para)
  6. Now find words in the story which mean the opposite of the given words.
    1. poor (First para)
    2. weak (Third para)
    3. enforce (Third para)
    4. insecurely (Sixth para)
    5. offensive (Sixth para)

Answer

  1. He was adventurous.
  2. They ate fruits to survive.
  3. The serpent swallowed his companion but not the narrator because, his companion was positioned somewhat lower than him on the tree.
  4. The narrator collected a lot of dry wood and bushes and tied them into a bundle with reeds. He arranged them in a circular structure round the tree and tied some of them with the branches of the tree. It was a tent like structure I which he confined himself throughout the night. When the serpent arrived, it crept round the tree but could not penetrate the defensive structure. Thus, the narrator saved himself from the serpent.
  5. Words are:
    1. wealthy
    2. wandered
    3. exhausted
    4. frightened
    5. instinct
  6. Opposite Words are:
    1. prosperous
    2. strength
    3. relieved
    4. securely
    5. defensive

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