Introduction: Achilles was a Greek Hero. According to Greek mythology, when Achilles was born, his mother held him up by his heel and dipped him in the river Styx so that he could live forever. After surviving many battles, Achilles finally died after an arrow struck him on his heel. In this story, the author has named his pet tortoise as Achilles.
Words You May Not Know
Mythology: a body of myths (stories about superhuman beings taken as a true in ancient cultures)
Fairy-tale(adj) : extremely happy or fortunate
Weired: very strange and unusual
Rippling: making a sound of water flowing quietly
Floppy: soft and not able to maintain a firm shape or position.
Dangle: to hang loosely, or to hold something so that it hangs loosely
Cravat: a wide straight piece of material worn loosely tied in the open neck of a shirt.
Lilting: gentle and pleasant.
Waggle: to (cause to) move quickly up and down or from side to side.
Fiesta: a public celebration in Spain or Latin America, especially one on a religious holiday, with entertainments and activities.
Pantomime: an amusing musical play based on traditional children‘s stories performed especially at Christmas.
Whirl : (to cause something to) spin around.
Sprightly: energetic and in good health.
Warble: to sing, especially in a high voice.
Lumber: to move slowly and awkwardly.
Legal : royal, supreme.
Respite: pause or rest from something difficult or unpleasant.
Satin(n) : a silk material shining on a side.
Sprightlier (adj) : energetic and in good health .
Warble (v) : to sing.
Mumber (v) : chew softly .
Drool (v) : dribble/talk foolishly.
Drool (v) : a slow or slothful person .
Hysterical (adj) : un controlled excitement.
Surge(v): rise, move forcefully.
Bemused (adj) : obscure, clouded, confused.
Lumber: to move slowly and awkwardly.
SUMMARY of Achilles
The story Achilles has been written by ‘Gerald Durrel’. In this story, the narrator is surprised to meet the Rose Beetle man during his travels because he had a fairy tale air about that was impossible to resist. The narrator could hear him long before he could see him. He was saying and playing a rippling tune on a shepherd’s pipe. Rose Beetle man had a fox-like a face with large eyes. His dress was fantastic. He had a hat on his head. His shirt was worn around his neck. The pockets of his coat bulged and his patched trousers dropped over a pair of leather shoes with upturned toes. He had carried on his back-Bamboo cages full of pigeons and young chickens. When he saw the dog of narrator, the Rose Beetle man stopped and smiled at them. The narrator asked him if he had been some fiesta. He nodded his head vigorously, raised his pipe to his lips and played a lilting tune on it and then stopped and smiled and rubbed his forefinger and thumbs together, expressing that he wanted money. The narrator
realized that he was unable to speak. After a long conversation between them, the narrator asked the Rose Beetle man the price of the little tortoise. He showed him all the fingers of his both hands. The narrator denied and showed two fingers. At last, the Rose Beetle man handed him the tortoise and held up five fingers. The narrator wanted to show the animal to everyone at his home. So, he hurried off along the road. The new arrival was christened Achilles and turned out to be an intelligent beast, with a sense of humour. He loved grapes as much as Roger did. So, there was always a great rivalry among them. But the fruit that Achilles liked best was the wild strawberries. Achilles developed a passion for the human company. One day the garden gate was left open and Achilles was nowhere to be found. At some length Achilles was found dead. He had fallen into a well. Lessie attempted at artificial respiration and Margo suggested for forcing strawberries down his throat, but they failed to get any response. His corpse was buried in the garden under a small strawberry plant. It was only marred by Roger, who despite all protests insisted on waging his tail throughout the burial service.
We should develop the habit of looking after pets. The different creatures add variety to our home and at times they become a source of entertainment to the family. We should respect animal rights and help them to grow in their own natural way.
THINKING ABOUT THE TEXT |QUESTIONS
Q.1. How was the Rose-Beetle Man dressed?
Ans: Rose-Beetle Man’ s dress was fantastic. On his head, he had a hat with a wide floppy brim. His shirt was worn. Round his head dangled a cravat of blue stain. His patched trousers drooped over a pair of leather shoes with upturned toes.
Ans. Rose-Beetle Man was dressed in a wide hat on head, shirt and a startling blue satin cravat around his neck. He had worn a coat with bulged pockets, patched trousers and a pair of leather shoes with upturned toes.
Q. 2. How do we know that the Rose-Beetle Man cared well for his pets?
Ans: The Rose-Beetal Man had polished the shells of the tortoises & he had decorated their front legs with little red bows. This shows that he cared well for his pets.
Ans. He had kept his pets in a sack. When he undid his sack half a dozen tortoise came out tumbling. He had polished their shells with oil and decorated their front legs with little red bows. This shows that he cared well for his pets.
Q. 3. What made the narrator select one particular tortoise from among the other animals?
Ans: When the Rose-Beetle Man undid a small sack, half a dozen tortoises tumbled out of it. One among them took the narrator‘s fancy. It was small with a shell size of a teacup. Its eyes were bright and its walk was alert. This made the narrator select it from among the other animals.
Ans. From among the other animals one was energetic than others. Its shell was of the size of a teacup. Its eyes were bright and its walk was alert. This fascinated the narrator and he was convinced to select this particular tortoise as his pet.
Q. 4. How did Achilles enjoy eating strawberries?
Ans: The fruit that Achilles liked the best was wild strawberries. He would become hysterical at the mere sight of them. The small strawberries he could devour at a gulp. But if he was given a big one he would grab the fruit and take it to a quiet spot among the flowerbed, where he would eat it at leisure.
Ans. Achilles liked the wild strawberries the most. He easily swallows the small-sized strawberries but when he was given the big one, he would grab it to a quiet spot among the flower beds to eat it at the leisure time. He was very fond of wild strawberries.
Q. 5. How were Roger and Achilles rivals?
Ans: Roger, the pet dog of the narrator became a rival of Achilles for both had to compete for getting more and more grapes.
Ans. Both Roger and Achilles liked grapes. Before the arrival of Achilles, Roger enjoyed full part of grapes. Now the Achilles became his partner, therefore there was a great rivalry between them.
Q. 6. Why did Achilles find Roger irritating?
Ans. Achilles was very fond of grapes, when he ate grapes, the juice would run his chin, and Roger would lie watching him his mouth dripping saliva. Roger would creep up to Achilles and lick him vigorously to get the grape juice which irritated Achilles.
Ans: Achilles loved grapes as much as Roger did. Achilles would sit mumbling the grapes in his mouth, the juice running down his chin and Roger would lie watching him, his mouth drooling saliva. Then Roger would creep up to Achilles and lick him vigorously to get the grape- juice which irritated Achilles.
Q. 7. How did Roger feel at Achilles’ funeral?
Ans: Roger felt happy at Achilles‘ funeral. He kept on wagging his tail throughout the burial service.
Ans. Roger felt happy at Achilles’ death that is why he was waging his tail at his funeral.
Q. 8. The family wandered about the olive-groves, shouting “Achilles … Strawberries, Achilles …” at length, we found him.
a) How had Achilles escaped?
Ans: One day the garden gate was left open and Achilles was nowhere to be found.OR
Ans. Achilles was habitual to walk through the whole garden. One day, the garden gate was left opened and Achilles got an opportunity to escape from the garden.
b) Explain why the family shouted “strawberries” during their search.
Ans: Strawberries were the favorite fruit of Achilles. The family wanted Achilles to hear the call and get tempted & return.
Ans. Achilles was very fond of strawberries, so to find him any way they should make him greedy for his favourite fruit so that they could easily find him.
c) Where did the family finally find Achilles? What had happened to him?
Ans. Finally, the family found Achilles in the well, the wall of which had long since disintegrated. He had fallen into the well and was quite dead.
Ans: The family found him dead in a well.
Q. 9. There are many instances of humor in the story. Pick out any two of them.
Ans. The story has many humorous instances. Eating of grapes by Achilles and running of juice from his mouth is humorous. Searching down the path of sunbathing person and sleeping on a belly is a humorous instance in the story.
Ans: The character and costumes of the Rose-Beetle Man is humorous. The licking of Achilles by Roger is full of humour. Achilles‘ act of mountaineering on a human body is a humorous incident.
Make anagrams using the following words with the help of the clues given in the table below:
Word Anagram Meaning
Looped Poodle= an intelligent breed of dog.
Schoolmaster = The Classroom where lessons are taught.
Listen Silent = making no sound.
Admirer = fan.
Rabies Serbia = country in Southeast Europe.
Real = fun Funeral performed after someone’s death.
Retain Retina = part of the human eye. Charm March movement of soldiers.
(i) Some of the following sentences are incorrect. Correct them.
1) We get a lot of English home works. Ans. We got a lot of homework.
2) I’ve got some sands in my shoe.
Ans. I’ve got some sand in my shoe.
3) Did you hear the news about Sara? Ans. Did you hear news about Sara?
4) We need more chairs in this room. Ans. We need more chairs in this room.
5) Can I have some more pasta?
Ans. Can I have some more pasta?
6) He carried my luggage to the taxi.
Ans. He carried my luggage to the taxi.
(ii) Insert ‘a’ or ‘an’ wherever necessary.
1. Why are you taking an umbrella? It isn’t raining.
2. I had soup and a bread roll for lunch.
3. It was a good idea to have a party.
4. She’s looking for a job in Jammu.
5. I often go to her for advice.
(iii) Fill in the gaps with a noun from the words given using a/an/the wherever necessary.
Chair, Suitcase, Fly, Rice, Furniture, day, weather, accidents, luggage.
1. There’s a fly in my soup.
2. I have to some furniture for my new house.
3. I haven’t got much luggage with me. Just this bag
4. It’s a sunny day today.
5. There weren’t any accidents on the roads yesterday.
(iv) Which of the underlined words in the parts of these sentences is correct?
1. Hurry up? We haven‘t got many / a lot of time.
Ans. a lot of
2. I don‘t eat much/many chocolates. Ans. many
3. I didn‘t take much / many photographs. Ans. many
4. I don‘t listen too much / many classical music.