1.   Why was the young seagull afraid to fly ? Do you think all young birds are afraid to make their first flight, or are some more timid than others ? Do you think a human baby also finds it a challenge to take its first steps ?
Ans:   The young seagull was afraid to fly because it was his first flight and he feared of falling and hurting himself. He thought his wings would never support him.
Yes all birds are afraid to fly for the first time but some birds may be more timid and fearful to take the first flight. In a similar way a human baby is also afraid of taking the first steps and finds it challenging when he learns to crawl or stand up without support.

2.   “ The sight of the food maddened him”. What does this suggest ? What compelled the young seagull to finally fly ?
  The young seagull was very hungry as he had not eaten for almost twenty four hours. His hunger grew when he saw his mother tearing  at a piece of fish that lay at her feet. He cried, begging her to get some food. When his mother came towards him with food in her beak, he screamed with joy. But she stopped mid-way. He wondered why she did not come nearer and then maddened by hunger, he dived at the fish in his mother’s beak. In his hunger he forgot and overcame his fear of the sea. He took a deep plunge that was followed by his natural reaction of the body to fly.

3.    They were beckoning to him, calling shrilly. Why did the seagull’s father and mother threaten him and cajole him to fly ?
Ans:    The seagull’s parents had tried everything but he was not ready to fly due to fear of falling down. He failed to gather courage to take that plunge. He looked at his brothers and sisters flapping their wings and flying away but he did not make any efforts. So his father and mother left him and threatened and cajoled him.

4.    Have you ever had a similar experience, where your parents encouraged you to do something that you were too scared to try ? Discuss this in pairs or groups.
Ans: Yes, I had a similar experience while learning to ride a bicycle in class VI. In my first trial I fell down, I hit someone’s compound wall and got hurt so I developed a fear and I was not able to cycle. My parents tried many times to encourage me to overcome this fear. He wanted me to learn cycling. He came with me for practice on the village ground. Thus I developed my confidence to cycle without falling again.

5.   In the case of a bird flying, it seems a natural act, and a foregone conclusion that it should succeed. In the example you have given in answer to the previous question, was your success guaranteed or was it important for you to try, regardless of a possibility of a failure ?
We face some problems in the beginning while learning new skills. Due to fear, we hesitate to perform a task or to do something new. In the case of the seagull his parents cajoled him to fly. In my case, my father cajoled, encouraged me to learn cycling to overcome my fear. Yes, my success was guaranteed because if someone is determined success is assured as practice makes a man perfect.