After an eventful journey, Maxwell and his otter reach London, where he has a flat.

Mij and I remained in London for nearly a month. He would play for hours with a selection of toys, ping-pong balls, marbles, rubber fruit, and a terrapin shell that I had brought back from his native marshes. With the ping-pong ball he invented a game of his own which could keep him engrossed for up to half an hour at a time. A suitcase that I had taken to Iraq had become damaged on the journey home, so that the lid, when closed, remained at a slope from one end to the other. Mij discovered that if he placed the ball on the high end it would run down the length of the suitcase. He would dash around to the other end to ambush its arrival, hide from it, crouching, to spring up and take it by surprise, grab it and trot off with it to the high end once more.



They stayed in London for a month, during which time Mij mastered the art of losing himself in a tonne of video games. He enjoyed playing with marbles, ping-pong balls, rubber fruit, and terrapin shells. He spent around thirty minutes playing ping-pong. Gavin's luggage had sustained damage during the trip. From one end to the other, it sloped. From the higher end to the lower end, Mij would roll the ball. Then, when the ball approached, he would dash to the bottom end and hide. He would startle the ball by rising just in time. He would then grab the ball and sprint back to the top of the bag. He would once more hit the ball from the other end, which was very exciting.


Meanings of difficult words:

Sl. No
ValleyA low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it
CrestThe top of a mountain or hill
RipeHaving arrived at the fitting stage or time for a particular action or purpose
DownpourA heavy fall of rain
ShowerA brief and usually light fall of rain, hail, sleet, or snow
IntimatelyIn a way that involves detailed knowledge

National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight. Mijbil the Otter - Gavin Maxwell (pp. 102 - 110). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi..