Hello students, in the previous post, you have already gone through the Summary, Question Answers and Word Meaning of the Chapter What Happened to The Reptiles Chapter 9 from Let’s Read English for students of JKBOSE and A Pact With the Sun English for NCERT students. This post will detail you with Line by line Explanation of the chapter.
What happened to the Reptiles Class 6 Explanation
- Pambupatti is a peaceful village, inhabited by a variety of people.
- Prem, the narrator of the story, flees his village under unfortunate conditions to reach Pambupatti by chance.
- An old resident of the village looks after him and tells him an interesting story.
YOU may not believe this story. But I can tell you it is true because I have been to Pambupatti, a village on the edge of the jungle. It is on a cliff, and the vast forest stretches below like a mossy green carpet. There are many kinds of people in the village — dark, fair, tall, and short. They speak many languages. Some eat meat, some don’t. Some pray in a small temple at the edge of the forest. Others pray in a mosque some miles away.
Explanation: The chapter is a story about the village of Pambupatti, a village nearby a forest. The narrator of the story, Prem had left his village due to a riot and reached Pampubhati by chance. The village Pambupatti was situated on a cliff and the forest lies beneath it like a green mossy carpet. It is a peaceful village. There were people of different sizes, colours, religions, languages, and tastes in the village but they lived together.
My name is Prem and I live many hundred miles away from Pambupatti. I had heard about the village, but I’d never been there. Then last year, something terrible happened. The people of my own village went mad. Far, far away in a place, they have never even been to, a temple or mosque had been burnt down, and they went mad. They started fighting with one another. Some had to run away in the middle of the night. And at three in the morning, as I lay in my house, half awake to the sounds of hate and violence, there was a fire. Many houses were burnt down in the fire. One of them was mine.
Explanation: The narrator used to live far away from Pambupatti but had heard a lot about the village. He never got a chance to visit the village. But last year, terrible religious riots took place in his village. People of the village went mad and were fighting with each other on religious matters. The mosques and the temples were burnt. He had to run away from his house at midnight. Many houses in the village including his own house were burnt down.
I managed to grab a few clothes, some coins, and my little Ganesh statue, and I ran! I ran for a day and a night, resting whenever my legs would not carry me any further. I jumped onto a train, then on a bus. No tickets. Never mind, everyone seemed to be running. Finally, I found myself in Pambupatti, and I saw some villagers gathered near a well. I ran to them, and before I could say a thing, I fainted.
Explanation: The narrator took his few clothes and a Ganesha statue and ran throughout the day and night. He rested whenever he was tired. He travelled by bus and train without a ticket but it was an emergency and everyone was running to save their lives. Finally, he reached village Pambupatti and found some villagers near a well. He ran towards them and before he narrated anything, he became senseless.
When I opened my eyes, I saw an old man with white hair, a white beard and shining black eyes bending over me. For the next few days, he looked after me, putting food in my mouth and bringing me sweet, cool water from the stream. He rubbed my feet gently and made the pain go away. Neighbours, strangers — everyone came to visit me.
Explanation: When he regained his senses, he found an old man had white hair, a white beard and sparkling black eyes leaning over him. He took care of him for the following few days, giving him food, sweets, water and everything he needed. He also rubbed his feet softly which relieved his pain. Not only the old man, everyone from the neighbourhood though they were strangers to Prem, visited him and asked about his health.
“Tell me, Grandfather”, I said to him one day. “I have never seen people like the villagers here! In my village, people fight with those who pray to another god. But here … this seems like a very strange place!”
Explanation: The narrator was surprised to see the religious harmony in the village and asked the old man to tell him about the place. He had left his village due to religious rites because he had seen people fighting with others in the name of religion but here it was different.
“Prem,” replied the old man, “I will tell you the story of Pambupatti. You can take this story back to your village. Maybe it will heal some of its wounds, and dry some of its sores.”
Explanation: The old man narrated the story of the place to him. He also told him to narrate that story to the people in his village, hoping that it may heal the wounds of the people of Prem’s village.
“Oh, Grandfather,” I said anxiously, “don’t say that. What I have seen in my village makes me burn with shame. I never, never want to go back there.”
Explanation: The narrator was anxious about his decision to return to his village. He asked the old man not to say about his return because what he had seen in his village made him feel shameful and he will not return to his village.
“But that’s exactly why you must go back,” he said, in a soft voice. I kept quiet. I didn’t want to argue with him, and I wanted to hear his story.
Explanation: The old man told the narrator that the situation of riots in his village was the reason he must return to his village and make people understand. The narrator did not want to argue with the old man and he remained silent because he was curious to know the story of the village.
- Very, very long ago, there were no animals in Pambupatti, only reptiles.
- They had a meeting every month. Their leader, Makara, would chair the meeting.
- Misusing his power, Makara ordered the tortoises and snakes to leave the forest.
It happened a long, long time ago, he began. So long ago that there were no schools and no teachers. Children lived in caves with their parents and helped them to collect fruit and berries from the forest. At that time, there were no tigers or panthers or elephants in the Pambupatti forest. There were only reptiles, many kinds of reptiles. Now you know what reptiles are. Snakes, crocodiles, turtles, lizards. And you know that a reptile has scales on its body and it lays eggs. Every month, the reptiles of Pambupatti had a big meeting. Everyone came — the pretty excited snakes, the slow thoughtful tortoises, the clever quick lizards, and the moody crocodiles, grumpy because they were out of water. The president of these meetings was Makara, the biggest crocodile in the forest. All the animals thought he was very important. When someone is strong and powerful, you know, it is difficult not to go along with what he says or does.
Explanation: It was the story of ancient times when there were no schools, People used to live in caves, and used parents to help their children in collecting fruits and berries from forests. There were no other animals in the jungle but only reptiles then. The animals like tigers, loin and elephants do not exist during those times. There were different types of reptiles ruling the forest. They used to hold a monthly meeting which was attended by all the animals. The meeting used to be headed by Makara – the strongest and the biggest crocodile. All the animals used to consider him important. It was so because he was powerful and no one used to go against him.
Now, one day, a strange thing happened. It was a week before one of the monthly meetings. Makara sent a letter to the tortoises, asking them not to come to the meeting. Ahistay, the big old star tortoise with black and yellow pictures on his shell, was very angry.
“What does this mean?” he shouted. “How dare they!” But not one of the tortoises dared to attend the meeting— they were so few, the others so many!
Explanation: One day a very strange thing took place. A week before the monthly meeting, Makara sent a letter to the tortoise telling them not to attend the meeting and leave the forest instead. The big old star tortoise with black and yellow pictures on his shell felt angry and shouted at this. All the tortoises were angry with the decision but none of them had the courage to attend the meeting as they were lesser in number.
Before the meeting, the giant Makara polished his teeth with the red flowers of the tree by the river till they sparkled. Everyone was waiting for him at the meeting place.
Explanation: Before the beginning of the meeting the big Makara polished his teeth with red flowers by the riverside till they started sparkling. Everyone was waiting for him.
“Brothers and sisters,” he began. All the reptiles, even the beautiful king cobras, stopped talking. Makara continued his speech. “I have decided that we don’t need the tortoises! I have told them not to come today. Brothers and sisters, can you tell me why we don’t like the tortoises?”
Explanation: Makara started his speech by addressing other animals as brothers and sisters. When he started his speech, everyone stopped talking and there was silence so everyone was listening to him. He declared that he had decided that they did not need tortoises and had also told them not to come. He asked if they knew why they did not like the tortoises.
The reptiles looked this way and that. They felt very uncomfortable. The snakes hissed anxiously, the lizards wriggled their tails, and the crocodiles opened their jaws even wider.
Explanation: The reptiles in the gathering don’t know the answer because it was not their decision. They looked here and there as they felt uneasy. The snakes hissed, the lizards shook their tails and the crocodiles opened their jaws bigger. All these expressions were signs of resentment against Makara’s decision but no one had the courage to go against him.
“But…” said one little lizard. “No BUTS!” shouted Makara. There was silence.
“I think …” said a baby crocodile. “No I THINKS!” screamed Makara, so loudly that the fruit in the tree above him rained down. After that, no one had the courage to speak.
Explanation: A small lizard and a baby crocodile to tried to speak against the decision but Makara shouted at them saying that there should be no BUTS and no I THINKS. He spoke so loudly that the fruit from the tree above fell to the ground. After this, no one had the courage to speak.
Makara cleared his throat and showed a few more teeth. “Well,” he said, “I will tell you why we don’t like the tortoises. They are so slow! So stupid! They even carry their houses on their backs. Whoever heard of such a stupid thing? Now you lizards, you live in trees. Would you ever carry a TREE on your back? Would you?” Small, frightened voices answered together, “No, we wouldn’t. But…”
Explanation: Makara cleared his throat and explained the reason why they didn’t like the tortoises. He told the gathering that they were too slow and stupid creatures. They were too stupid that they carry their houses on their backs. He asked lizards if they have ever carried their home- tree on their back ever. The lizard answered in a fearful voice- no and tried to say something further ‘But’.
“No BUTS! Now, listen. I have told the tortoises that they will have to move out of Pambupatti. When they go, we will have more of everything. More food, more water, more space. I want them out by tomorrow. But because they are such slowcoaches, I have given them one week. By next Tuesday we won’t have a single tortoise left in this jungle!”
Explanation: Makara interrupted again and silenced them by saying ‘NO BUTS’. He informed the gathering that he had told the tortoises to leave Pambupatti. He explained that once they would leave the forest, those who are left in the forests would have more of everything. They would have surplus water, food or space. He wanted them to leave the forest the very next day but because they were slow, he gave them one week. He declared that they would be out of the forest by next week and there would not be a single tortoise in the forest.
And by the following Tuesday, they were all gone. At first, the animals were sad, but then they realised that what Makara had said was true. There was more food, more water, and more space for them! But soon, a strange smell began to fill the forest. It was the smell of rot — rotting fruit on the ground, rotting animals in the river. This was what the tortoises used to eat. And even Makara had to go about holding his nose with his big claws.
Explanation: By next Tuesday all tortoises were out of the forest. All the animals were sad at the beginning on the exit of the tortoises from the forest but over time, they found Makara right as they have everything soon after that, a strange smell started spreading in the forest. It was the smell of rotting fruits and animals which were the food of tortoises. In absence of tortoises, they were getting rot and spreading smell in the forest. The smell was so strong that even Makara would pass through the forest covering his nose.
A month passed by, and then the same thing happened all over again. But this time, it was the snakes. Makara wrote them one of his letters. They were to leave the forest and since they could move fast, they had to go in a day!
Explanation: Next month same episode was repeated by Makara in the meeting and this time it was the turn of the snakes to leave the forest. And knowing that they could move fast, the snakes were told to vacate the place in a day.
Naga, the head of the snakes, pleaded for more time, but Makara would not give in. At the meeting, he silenced the others — the lizards and crocodiles — with even louder shouts and threats. “Snakes are slimy,” he said, “and they make funny noises. Who wants such weird creatures around?” Again, no one dared to disagree with Makara, and so the snakes left.
Explanation: Naga, the head of the snakes requested Makara to give them some time to vacate but for more time but he was adamant and did not listen to Naga. He silenced everyone in the meeting with his loud shouts, threats and adamant He gave the argument in support of his decision that snakes were unpleasant slimy animals that make funny noises and they don’t need such unusual animals around them. No one in the gathering has the courage to oppose Makara’s decision and owing to this the snakes left the forest.
For a while, the animals of the forest were happy because they had been a little afraid of the snakes. You never knew when one of them might lose his temper and spit some venom at you! And it took only a little poison to kill you, after all.
Explanation: For some time, the animals were happy because they were fearful of snakes. It was so because they were very unpredictable and at any time any of them may get angry and could spit poison against anyone which was dangerous and could kill the other person.
- The lizards were also ordered to leave, and the whole forest now belonged to Makara and his group.
- The crocodiles faced unforeseen problems in the absence of their fellow reptiles.
- They soon realised that their happiness lay in their fellow creatures’ happiness and homecoming
A few weeks passed and the animals of the forest looked tired and fed up. The RATS! Now that there were no snakes to eat them, the rats had taken over the forest. And they were having a wonderful time. They were everywhere, on the trees, in the grass, in the bushes, on the ground. They ate up the eggs of the lizards and crocodiles. There would be no babies that year. Makara’s own nest of eggs had been chewed up.
Explanation: Few weeks after that incident all the animals in the forest were tired and irritated by rats. There were no snakes in the forest to eat rats and they were fearless now. They have taken control of the whole forest now and were enjoying the time. They would even eat the eggs of crocodiles and lizards and so there were no new babies in the forest that year.
Then Makara had a great idea. He called a meeting of the crocodiles and said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we, the crocodiles, could have the WHOLE jungle for ourselves? No one but us? These lizards, now, just look at them! They have the strangest habits, and some of them even change colour! How can we trust someone who is green one minute, red the next? Let’s get rid of them.”
Explanation: Even facing such a problem Makara became more selfish and thought of keeping the whole jungle for themselves alone. So he called a meeting of crocodiles and told them about his wish. He told them the lizards have strange habits and even some of them can change colour so they can’t be trusted. He suggested getting rid of lizards was good for reptiles.
By now, the crocodiles were scared of Makara. So they clapped and cheered. Makara was pleased. The lizards left the forest, some with their babies on their backs.
Explanation: Now crocodiles were afraid of Makara so they supported and agreed to his idea. As a result, the lizards left the forest with their young ones lying on their parent’s backs.
But now, when life should have been wonderful for the crocodiles of Pambupatti, all kinds of awful things began to happen. To begin with, the rats grew bolder by the day. They became so fearless that they jumped and turned somersaults on the crocodiles’ backs! And there were too many frogs. They seemed to be growing larger, and there was no one to eat them but the crocodiles. These huge frogs began to eat the baby crocodiles. And the insects! Now that the lizards were gone, there were millions of them, growing bigger and nastier by the day.
Explanation: Now according to Makara life should have been joyful for reptiles because they were only creatures in the forest but strange things started happening in the forest. The rats became bolder and danced on the crocodiles’ backs. There were so many frogs and they grew larger and they all were fearless as no one was there to eat them. These bigger frogs started eating the babies of crocodiles. Insects also increased in number due to the absence of lizards. They were growing bigger and more daring day by day.
It was a terrible time for the crocodiles. They couldn’t understand what had happened to their happy forest home.
Explanation: It was a very difficult time for the crocodiles. They were not able to understand what had happened to their happy forest home.
Then one day, a squeaky little voice piped up at one of their meetings, “We know why the forest has gone crazy, don’t we?”
Explanation: One day, a scratchy voice raised in the meeting, saying that they all knew why all this was happening in the forest.
Suddenly everyone was silent. They looked at Makara fearfully, but to their surprise, he looked nervous. He shook a rat off his tail and asked the small crocodile. “Why, little fellow?”
“It all began with the tort—”
“Okay, okay”, said Makara. “There’s no need to talk so much.” Makara didn’t want to admit he was wrong, but it didn’t matter. All the crocodiles knew now that he was not all that strong or powerful. Or always right. They sent urgent messages all over the place for the tortoises, snakes and lizards to come back to Pambupatti. And what a great day it was when these creatures came back, family after family, with their little ones on their backs or straggling behind, shouting at their parents to wait for them!
Explanation: Everyone was silent due to fear of Makara and was expecting some shouting response but to their surprise Makara himself was nervous. Shooking a rat off his head he asked little fellow the reason for the happenings. The little reptile replied that it started with tortoise but he could complete his sentence as Makara interrupted him saying that there was no need to talk much. He became weaker but was not ready to accept his mistake. But all the crocodiles knew that he neither remained so strong nor can be right all the time. They sent urgent messages to the animals to come back to the forest. It was a great day as all the animals started coming back, one family after another, shouting at each other, children on the backs, moving shabbily and hurriedly.
In two months, the forest was back to normal. The rats disappeared, and the insects, and the smell, and the world finally went back to its familiar old self.
Explanation: After two months, the forest became normal. The rats were not visible. The insects and the smell were also gone. The world became normal.
“Well, Prem,” said the old man, “have you fallen asleep? Did my story send you off to dreamland?”
I shook my head. “No, Grandfather, I was just thinking. Maybe it’s time I went back to my village because I have a story to tell them. But what if they don’t listen to me?”
“We can only keep at it, my son — tell these stories again and again, to more and more people. Some of them may laugh at you or say your stories are not true. But they may remember them one day, and understand that each of us has a place in this strange, funny world of ours.”
Explanation: The old man asked Prem if he had fallen asleep and whether his story had sent him to dreamland. Prem shook his head and said that no, actually he was thinking that it was the right time to go back to the village and share this story with them. But he was scared that no one would listen to him. The old man advised him that they had to tell that story again and again to more people. They might laugh at it or call the story a fake one. But they had to keep telling it with the hope that one day they would understand that each person has his unique place in this world.