“She’s going to be okay,” said the fireman. “She just inhaled a little smoke.” And then he ran back to fight the fire while my mother and I sat there dazed. I remember watching my house burn down and thinking that there was nothing I could do about it.
Five hours later, the fire was finally out. Our house was almost completely burned down. But then it struck me ...I hadn’t seen my cat. Where was my cat? Much to my horror, I realised that she was nowhere to be found. Then all at once it hit me — the new school, the fire, my cat — I broke down in tears and cried and cried. I was suffering loss, big time.
Despite his joy at seeing his mother alive, the narrator was concerned about his mother's condition. The narrator had already lost his father. He can't afford to lose both his mother and father. His mother was his sole source of support.
The firefighter assuaged the narrator's fears by assuring him that his mother would be okay. He told the narrator that his mother had breathed smoke and that the first-aid they had given her would help her recover quickly.
After convincing the narrator, he rushed into the house to extinguish the flames, leaving the mother and son puzzled about the chaotic situation. The narrator and his mother had no clue how things had turned so much worse in a matter of minutes. The narrator recalls feeling helpless as he watched his house burn and was helpless to prevent it.
The fire was put out after nearly five hours. The fire had destroyed the entire house. A new thought had suddenly struck the narrator. It was about the narrator's cat, which went missing during the fire accident in his house. The narrator recalls it being on the dining table when he was doing his homework. He had no idea if it was caught and died in the horrific fire or if it had escaped.
The narrator then began to cry. He cried because he was having problems adjusting to his new school, the house fire, and the loss of his pet cat. He thought he was having a run of terrible luck, with too many unpleasant things (losses) happening all at once.
Meaning of difficult words:
Unable to think clearly
|Inhale||To breathe gas, air or smoke into your lungs|
|Horror||A intense feeling of fear or shock|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. A House Is Not a Home - Zan Gaudioso (pp.49-54). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.