His first flight Liam O’Flaherty Tnpsc notes

His first flight summary

This story is about a young seagull (bird), which is unable to fly due to fear. On the other hand, his two brothers and his sister started to fly one day before him. The story “His first flight” summarises all the experiences felt by a young seagull and the efforts taken by him to start flying.

Story

Youngs Seagull afraid to make his first fly

The story starts with a young seagull sitting along on the ledge. His two brothers and sister had already started to fly one day before him. But this seagull is afraid to fly with them, as he felt that his wings would not support him and also the height.

But he attempted and took a little run forward to the brink of the ledge and attempted to flap his wings. Then due to fear he stopped his efforts and bent his head and then ran back to the little hole under the ledge where he slept at night.

Family scolding his fear to fly

His brothers and sister have small wings than his, but they courageously flapped their wings and started to fly. But this seagull failed to muster up the courage. His father and mother have come around calling to him shrilly, scolding him. Also, they threatened him to starve on the ledge.

But even after scolding and threatening, the seagull did not move. It was more than 24-Hours, and nobody came near to him.

His First Flight

Young Seagull watching his family having fun

All the day he watched his parents fly and taught them the art of flight and how to skim the waves and how to dive for fish. He also saw his older brother catch his first herring and devour it. Seeing this his parents circled around raising a proud cackle.

Herring

A long silver fish

All-day, his family walked on a big plateau opposite the cliff, he was standing and laughed at his cowardice.

He is starving due to hunger in the blazing sun

The sun that faced to his south was blazing warmly on his ledge. He was feeling the heat as was eaten anything since the previous nightfall. Then he found a dried piece of mackerel’s tail at the end of his ledge.

Ledge

A narrow shelf that juts out from a vertical surface. In this prose, ledge means a narrow piece of rock that sticks out on the side of a cliff or mountain.

Mackerel

A sea fish. It has a strong taste, used as food.

Then there was not a single scrap of food left. He search every inch of the ledge, through the dirt-caked straw nest where he and his siblings had been hatched. He then even gnawed dried pieces of eggshells. This is just eating a part of himself.

Gnawed

To bite or chew something like food repeatedly

Then the seagull trotted back and forth. His long grey legs stepped daintily trying to find a route to reach his parent without flying. But on each side, the ledge ended in a sheer fall of a precipice, with the sea beneath.

Trot

To run at moderate pace with short steps.

The seagull is crying for food

Also between, him and his parents, there was a deep, wide crack. He could surely reach his parents without flying only if he could move northwards along the cliff face? But there was no ledge and he is afraid to fly.

The precipice was sheer and the top of the precipice is farther away than the sea under him. Then he slowly stepped to the brink of the ledge. Then he stood with one leg and another leg under his wing.

Precipice

A very steep side of cliff or mountain

He then closed one eye and pretended to fall asleep. Even after his drama, his parents and siblings did not take any notice of him. Only his mother looked at him. On the other hand, his father was preening his feathers and his two brothers and sister were lying on the plateau dozing with their heads sunk into their necks.

Preening

Cleaning feathers with beak

His mother was standing little high hump on the plateau and she tore a piece of fish at her feet and then scraped her beak on the rock. He too loved it, Whet it . This scene maddened him. He wants to do the same, so he uttered a low cackle and his mother cackled too.

Cackle

A sharp broken noise or cry of goose, hen or seagull

Then, he cried begging his mother to bring him some food. But his mother mocked him. But he kept calling plaintively, and then he screamed joyfully, seeing his mother pick a piece of fish and fly across him.

Plaintively

Calling in a sad way

Mother teased him to make his first flight

He was eagerly waiting for the food, he leaned tapping the rock with his feet, trying to get nearer to his mother who flew across. But his mother flew nearer to him, but she is not giving the food to him and continued to fly across him, opposite to the ledge.

He dived for Food

Then got maddened by hunger, he dived at the fist, in the beak of his mother. He fell down into space, with a loud scream from him. But his mother swooped upward and he passed beneath her and he heard the swish of her wings.

Swoop

To move quickly and easily through air

Surprisingly he is not falling headlong now, he was soaring gradually, downwards and outwards. He is now no longer afraid. He just felt a bit dizzy.

Made his first flight

His first flight Liam O’Flaherty Tnpsc notes
His first flight Liam O’Flaherty Tnpsc notes

He started to flap his wings and he soared upwards. Then he uttered a joyous scream and flapped them again.

Then his mother swooped past him and made a loud noise with her wings. All his family screamed happily for him, flying around him, soaring and diving. After he started to fly, he completely forgot that he had not been able to fly.

And commenced to dive and soar, shrieking shrilly. He was flying over the vast green sea. His family had landed on this green floor and were beckoning to him, calling shrilly. He dropped his legs to stand on the green sea.

Beckoning

making a gesture with the hand or head to encourage someone to approach or follow.

Shrilly

Producing a high pitched and piercing voice or sound

But his legs sank and he screamed with fright and he attempted to rise again. But he was tired and could not rise. But his belly touched the sea and he sank no further.

He was floating on the sea. His family was happily screaming, praising him and their beaks offered him scraps of dogfish.

He has made his first flight.


About the Author

This prose “His First Flight“, is written by Liam O’Flaherty (1896-1984). He was an Irish novelist and short-story writer. He was a great figure in the Irish literary renaissance. Also, he was the founding member of the communist party of Ireland.

He is a native Irish speaker from Gaeltacht. He wrote exclusively in English and a small number of short stories in English. He spent most of his time in travelling and lived quietly and comfortably outside the spotlight.

* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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