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With a satisfied expression he regarded the field of ripe corn with its flowers, draped in a curtain of rain. But suddenly a strong wind began to blow and along with the rain very large hailstones began to fall. These truly did resemble new silver coins. The boys, exposing themselves to the rain, ran out to collect the frozen pearls.


‘‘It’s really getting bad now,’’ exclaimed the man. “I hope it passes quickly.” It did not pass quickly. For an hour the hail rained on the house, the garden, the hillside, the cornfield, on the whole valley. The field was white, as if covered with salt.



Lencho looked at the field of ripe corn with its flowers with a happy face. The narrator also describes the scene through a metaphor of curtain. He explains that the field was "draped in a curtain of rain", suggesting how the clouds hung loose, like a cloth, about the field. The metaphor of "curtain" also suggests how clouds were hiding something from one's view. While it is more obvious to perceive that it was the sky that the clouds were hiding, the event that follows the metaphor hints a danger that was presently hidden.


In the second line of the 4th paragraph, the narrator states that a strong wind had began to blow, and enormous hailstones began to replace the rain. These looked exactly like brand-new silver coins. The boys dashed outside, exposing themselves to the weather, to retrieve the "frozen pearls". The narrator uses the metaphor of "pearls" to describe the hailstones, for they looked as white and shiny as pearls. He calls them "frozen" because they are made up of ice. Also, one may note how the narrator had stated that the hailstones did resemble "new silver coins". One might pick a hint of sarcasm and irony in the narrator's observation. Previously, Lencho had compared the rain drops to "new coins" as he thought that they were going to fetch him money through harvest. However, with hail comes destruction, and hence it could be likened to coins only in terms of appearance and not character.

Looking at the hailstones, Lencho exclaimed that the situation was getting bad. One can observe how the word "exclaim" were used in two different occasions in two contradictory contexts. Here, it was used to describe the anxiety (a negative emotion) Lencho was feeling, while in the paragraph 3, the narrator used it describe the excitement and happiness (positive emotions) Lencho had felt.


Lencho hopes that the hail passes quickly, but the narrator states that it didn't. The hail continued for an  hour. The entire valley, including Lencho's house, garden, hillside, and the cornfield were covered in ice. The cornfield was white, as if it had been sprayed with salt. One could easily understand that the hail had destroyed the crops.

Meanings of difficult words:
Sl. No
RegardGaze at steadily in a particular way
DrapedTo cover or wrap loosely with folds of cloth
CurtainA thick layer of something that makes it difficult to see anything behind it
HailstoneA small, hard ball of ice that falls from the sky like rain
ResembleTo look like or be like someone or something
Frozen(Of liquid) turned into ice
PearlA small, shiny, hard ball, usually white or blue-gray, that forms around a grain of sand inside some oyster shells and is valued as a jewel; something that resembles a pearl
Exclaim To say or shout something suddenly because of surprise, fear, pleasure, etc

National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight. A Letter to God-G.L.Fuentes (pg. 1 - 7). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi..