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     He waited a moment in surprise, wondering why she did not come nearer, and then maddened by hunger, he dived at the fish. With a loud scream, he fell outwards and downwards into space. His mother had swooped upwards. As he passed beneath her, he heard the swish of her wings.
 
     Then a monstrous terror seized him and his heart stood still. He could hear nothing. But it only lasted a moment. The next moment, he felt his wings spread outwards. The wind rushed against his breast feathers, then under his stomach and against his wings. He could feel the tips of his wings cutting through the air. He was not falling headlong now. He was soaring gradually, downwards and outwards. He was no longer afraid. He just felt a bit dizzy. Then, he flapped his wings once and he soared upwards.
 
     He uttered a joyous scream and flapped them again. He soared higher. He raised his breast and banked against the wind. ‘Ga, ga, ga. Ga, ga, ga.’ ‘Gawlool- ah.’ His mother swooped past him, her wings making a loud noise. He answered her with another scream. Then, his father flew over him screaming. Then, he saw his two brothers and sister flying around him, soaring and diving.
 
     Then, he completely forgot that he had not always been able to fly, and commenced to dive and soar, shrieking shrilly.
 
     He was near the sea now, flying straight over it, facing out over the ocean. He saw a vast green sea beneath him, with little ridges moving over it; he turned his beak sideways and crowed amusedly. His parents and his brothers and sister had landed on this green floor in front of him. They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly. He dropped his legs to stand on the green sea. His legs sank into it. He screamed with fright and attempted to rise again, flapping his wings. But he was tired and weak with hunger and he could not rise exhausted by the strange exercise. His feet sank into the green sea, and then his belly touched it and he sank no farther. He was floating on it. And around him, his family was screaming, praising him, and their beaks were offering him scraps of dog-fish.
 
     He had made his first flight.
Explanation:
 
The seagull's mother had come near it, with a piece of fish in her mouth to tempt it. Initially, it was overjoyed to see that after a day of starvation, the mother had finally come down with food. But when it realised that the food was only at its mouth's reach and not put the right front of it like always, it became angry. But it was very hungry, and people become maddened when they are hungry. The seagull was so lured by the food that it jumped to catch hold of the fish. Generally, one tends to go down and put any effort if that is the only and last resort. They do not use logic and plan, rather would delve into it quickly. The seagull was only focussed on the food that is, for a moment, forgot the circumstances and fear.
 
The mother bird purposefully used the fish as the bait, and therefore when the seagull tries to reach the food, it falls outwards and downwards into the space. Exactly when it reached out, the mother bird had swooped upwards, making the seagull fall and could hear the swish of the wings as it was falling. By the time the seagull realised what was happening, a monstrous terror shook it, and for a moment, it could not hear its heartbeat, meaning that fear overtook its entire body. As it was falling from an altitude, the wind brushed fiercely into its breast feathers and felt the tip of the wings cutting through because of the intensity of the wind. But it soon realised that it was flying in the process. It was soaring upwards and downwards.
 
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Little seagull in flight
 
Once it had experienced the feeling of being in the air, courage picked up, and it uttered a joyous scream and started flapping its wings. Most of the time, it is only the fear of beginning something, and once we get to delve into the experience, we may realise how trivial our fears were and start enjoying the moment. The mother bird just gave a push and motivation to the seagull, and it overcame its fear. He raised his body up in the force of the wind and flew happily. Its brothers and sisters started flying around screaming ga ga ga to each other. They started flying and screaming as a family. Flying is the seagull's natural trait, and it soon becomes inherent that it almost forgot that it was initially reluctant to fly.
 
The little bird being a newbie to flying had become tired due to the exercise. One cannot overdo any exercise as it can drain energy. Being a seagull, it landed on the green sea and immersed feet in it to rest. Its parents and siblings landed on the green sea and called out from either side. When it entered the surface to rest, it was not able to even float properly as it was tired and hungry since it had not eaten anything from morning. It had become the hero in one day as it rested its belly on the surface, and the family fed scraps of dogfish to it, cheering and screaming. The little seagull had finally made its first flight.
 
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The seagull flew with the family
 
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1
NewbieSomeone who is new in doing something
2
SwoopedTo fly downwards rapidly
3
MonstrousEvil or wrong
4
HeadlongIn a rush
5
DizzyFeeling like losing balance
6
ShriekTo scream highly
7
Dog-fishA small shark
8
ShrillHigh pitched noise
9
ReluctantHaving doubts about do something
Reference:
State Council of Educational Research and Training 2019. Term 1 English Standard - 10. His First Flight - Liam O'Flaherty (pp. 2 -16). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.