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ALL: It shall be done, sir. (They frown over the book, turning pages.)
 
OMEGA: (brightly) Aha!
 
IOTA: (brightly) Oho!
 
OOP: (bursting into laughter) Ha, ha, ha.
 
THINK-TANK: What does it say? Tell me this instant. Transcribe, Omega.
 
OMEGA: Yes, sir. (She reads with great seriousness.)
     Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
     How does your garden grow?
     With cockle shells and silver bells
     And pretty maids all in a row.
 
OOP: Ha, ha, ha. Imagine that. Pretty maids growing in a garden.
 
THINK-TANK: (alarmed) Stop! This is no time for levity. Don’t you realise the seriousness of this discovery? The Earthlings have discovered how to combine agriculture and mining. They can actually grow crops of rare metals such as silver. And cockle shells. They can grow high explosives, too. Noodle, contact our invasion fleet.
Explanation:
 
Upon hearing Think-Tank's order, the crew members prepared to read the book "Mother Goose". It was indeed a nursery poem which started with the words, 'Aha!, Oho!, Ha ha ha'. Think-Tank did not understand these words and hence demanded an explanation from Omega. But, the crew members burst into laughter. Think-Tank became so curious that he asked Omega to tell him about the lines.
 
Omega immediately obeyed his order and started to explain to him the poetic lines. He told Think-Think that the poetic lines say, 'a woman grows With cockle shells and silver bells, And pretty maids in her garden' and Oop started laughing at the lines, 'growing pretty maids in a garden'. But, Think-Tank was so serious about the poetic lines as he did not even think that it was an imaginary poem written to be told for children. He took out the literary meaning of the lines and became serious about lines. He warned the crew members to stop laughing and to realise the meaning(outer/literal) of the words.
 
Think-Tank then pointed out the poetical lines saying, 'humans have discovered to combine both agriculture and mining, and told them that it's not possible to grow such natural metals and most importantly 'cockle shells' which could cause explosives. Think-Tank was frightened by the poetic lines and immediately warned Noodle to contact their spacecraft, which was sent to invade the planet of Earth.
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1.
InstantHappening immediately
2.
TranscribeTo convert something into a written or spoken format
3.
LevityRefers to lack seriousness
4.
MistressA woman who employs servants
5.
MiningRefers to the act or process of extracting metals
6.
ExplosiveA substance that can burst violently
7.
FleetRefers to a vehicle or aircraft being operated under someone's order
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). The Book That Saved The Earth - Claire Boiko (pp 63-73). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.