Precis (Summary) Writing – 14
Creative Writing – 59
The following passage has close to 310 words. Write its summary in no more than 110 words.
Passage from stories by Ruskin Bond
I started out by saying that nature and the railways had little or no meeting ground. But occasionally there is an exception. As a schoolboy I went to stay with a friend of Uncle Fred’s, a station-master at Kalka, where the mountain railway to Simla commences. He had his bungalow on a bare hillside about a mile from the station. The station-master fancied himself a shikari and always carried his gun around, giving me colourful accounts of his exploits in the jungles. There was no jungle near Kalka, and the only wild animal I saw was a jackal. My host felt he ought to shoot something, if only to demonstrate his skill, and aiming at a crow perched on the compound wall, let off both barrels of his gun and despatched the poor crow half way to the Solan Breweries on the next range. Minutes later we were being attacked by all the crows in Kalka. About a hundred of them appeared as if from nowhere, and, amidst a deafening cawing, swooped down on us, wings beating furiously. My host’s sola-topee was sent flying as he dived for cover. I protected my head with a book I was carrying and ran indoors. We shut ourselves up in the dining-room, while crows gathered at the skylights and windows, pecking on the glass panes. The crows did not give up their siege until late evening when an assistant station-master, accompanied by a fireman, a trolley-driver and several porters came to our rescue. The Night Mail to Delhi was delayed by over an hour, and my host had a nervous breakdown and went on sick leave for a week. As for me, I grew up to have a healthy respect for all crows. They are true survivors and will probably be around long after the human species has disappeared.
To impress me about his hunting skills, the station master of Kalka, who was my host and Uncle Fred’s friend, took me around for an errand. Finding no suitable prey, he killed a crow with his double-barreled gun. It was flung quite far. Soon after, hordes of belligerent crows swooped on us forcing us inside the house. The angry crows, staying put in the place till evening, did try to enter our room through windows and skylights. Later, the station staff chased them away. The incident delayed the Night Mail and my hunter-uncle suffered a nervous break-down. The incident taught me to respect crows who might outlive humans on earth. [110 Words]