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Before you read
Have you seen a mongoose? You have read in Lesson 9 that a mongoose can fight with and kill a snake. Look at the pictures and read the lines given along with them.
The Banyan Tree
The fight of the cobra and the mongoose is a classic drama often seen in India, and the outcome is largely the same. The mongoose is not immune to the venomous bite, but is faster and quicker in motion than the snake. The cobra assumes a posture of defence and attempts to reach the animal by a sweeping strike, but the quick-moving mongoose jumps out of reach and comes at the snake from another direction, before the snake can get into striking position again.
This constant movement tires and discourages the snake, and the mongoose is finally able to leap in close and bury its teeth in the snake’s neck, usually severing the joints of its vertebrae. You must have seen a banyan tree. This is a story about what the author saw, as a young boy, when he was sitting in an old banyan tree in his grandfather’s house
1. THOUGH the house and grounds belonged to my grandparents, the magnificent old banyan tree was mine — chiefly becaus Grandfather, at sixty-five, could no longer climb it
2. Its spreading branches, which hung to the ground and took root again, forming a number of twisting passages, gave me endless pleasure. Among them were squirrels and snails and butterflies. The tree was older than the house, older than Grandfather, as old as Dehra Dun itself. I could hide myself in its branches, behind thick green leaves, and spy on the world below.
3. My first friend was a small grey squirrel. Arching his back and sniffing into the air, he seemed at first to resent my invasion of his privacy. But when he found that I did not arm myself with catapult or air gun, he became friendly, and when I started bringing him pieces of cake and biscuit he grew quite bold and was soon taking morsels from hand. Before long, he was delving into my pockets and helping himself to whatever he could find. He was a very young squirrel, and his friends and relative probably thought him foolish and headstrong for trusting a human
4. In the spring, when the banyan tree was full of small red figs, birds of all kinds would flock into its branches: the red-bottomed bulbul, cheerful and greedy; parrots, myna and crows squabbling with one another. During the fig season, the banyan tree was the noisiest place in the garden.
5. Halfway up the tree I had built a crude platform where I would spend the afternoons when it was not too hot. I could read there propping myself up against the tree with a cushion from the living room. Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn and The Story of Dr Dolittle were some of the books that made up my banyan tree library.
6. When I did not feel like reading, I could look down through the leaves at the world below. And on one particular afternoon I had a grandstand view of that classic of the Indian wilds, a fight between a mongoose and a cobra.
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 6 English The Banyan Tree