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The Bird of Happiness Questions and Answers, Notes, Summary
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Will I ever make it”? Why did Wangjia feel so?
In the first phase of the journey itself, Wangjia faced insurmountable difficulties. The smooth road had turned into a vast scree and every stone on it was as sharp as a knife. After the first hundred miles, the soles of Wangjia’s boots were ripped apart by the stones; after the second hundred miles, his feet were cut to pieces; and after the third hundred miles, his hands were torn to shreds. Since the going was so tough, Wangjia had moments of doubt and he wondered if he would ever make it.
What hardships did Wangjia undergo on his way to find the Bird?
There were three phases to his journey and in every phase Wangjia’s hardships increased. In the first phase, when Wangjia refused to carry out the command of the first monster to kill Lousang’s mother, the smooth road turned into vast scree and every stone on it was as sharp as a knife. After the first hundred miles, the soles of Wangjia’s boots were ripped apart by the stones; after the second hundred miles, his feet were cut to pieces; and after the third hundred miles, his hands were torn to shreds. Since the going was so tough, Wangjia had moments of doubt and he wondered if he would ever make it.
In the second phase, when Wangjia refused to obey the second monster’s command to poison old gaffer Silong, the monster blew away Wangjia’s bread-bag and turned the blue mountains and green rivers into a boundless desert with no food to be found anywhere. Wangjia traveled 300 miles without food with his head reeling and with sharp pain in his guts, as if they were being cut by a knife. This was not all. The last phase of his journey was even worse.
When Wangjia refused to carry out the command of the third monster to bring Bhima’s eyeballs, the monster gouged out Wangjia’s eyeballs. The rest of the journey had to be carried out by Wangjia in his blind state. He groped his way with his hands on the ground. Yet he continued his journey resolutely in the direction of the sun as he believed that the bird must be in a place in that direction. All this Wangjia did because he honored his promise to his people and he remembered the hope of his people that he would take with him the bird of happiness.
What changes came over Wangjia as the Bird of Happiness caressed him?
As soon as the Bird of Happiness caressed Wangjia gently, his eyeballs flew back to their sockets, and he could now see much more brightly than before. All his wounds were healed and he was stronger than ever. Thus magical changes came over Wangjia as the Bird of Happiness caressed him.
Wangjia was face to face with three monsters. Each monster had his own wish. Wangjia too had a wish. What contrast do you draw between the wishes of the monster and the wish of Wangjia? What does the folktale suggest with this contrast?
The first monster wanted Wangjia to kill Lousang’s mother. Wangjia refused to obey the monster saying that he loved his mother and would never kill another person’s mother. The second monster wanted Wangjia to poison old gaffer Silong. Again Wangjia’s reply was in the negative. Wangjia defied the monster in the face saying that he loved his own grandpa and wouldn’t kill the grandfather of another. The third monster wanted Wangjia to bring Bhima’s eyeballs if he wanted to see the Bird of Happiness.
Again Wangjia refused to add that no one had the right to destroy a girl’s pretty eyes. Thus, every wicked wish of the monsters was refused by Wangjia. If the monsters represent the destructive element in the world, Wangjia stands for the constructive spirit. The story shows that when one stands for good and what is right, one comes across many obstacles and hardships; but if one has the strength of character and the power of conviction, one can overcome all hurdles and reach one’s destination.
Read paragraph 1 and paragraph 28 and 29. What do you understand from them about the meaning of real happiness?
The lesson clearly shows that when one is blessed with the bounty of nature, one will be happy. Happiness is not depicted as the possession of material wealth. In the first paragraph, it is given that the people of the poor area in Tibet, suffered from hunger and cold as the place had no rivers or good land, no warmth or fresh flowers, no trees or green grass. In paragraphs 28 and 29 we see that Wangjia asks for warmth and happiness, forests and flowers, fields and rivers.
In paragraph 29 we see that the Bird of Happiness gave three cries and with the first cry, the golden sun broke through the clouds and a warm breeze came down from the sky. At the second cry, stretch upon stretch of forest appeared all over the mountains, mountain peach and other mountain flowers bloomed together and thrushes and larks led a chorus of birdsong. At the third cry, green rivers and fields came into view and little white rabbits danced merrily on the grass. After these details, it is also given that the people of the place never suffered hardships again. From all this it’s clear that happiness means being blessed by nature to enjoy the natural pleasures of nature.
What do you like the most in the story? Support your answer by giving reasons.
We like Wangjia the most in the story. He was so young to take such a risk. We like his selfless hard work. He did a great task for the benefit of his people. He faced many hardships during his task. He didn’t care about his life also. To work for others is really a good job. everyone will appreciate his work.
Read the story. Discuss with your partner and fill in the table given below.
|Monster’s||Wangjia’s answer/ actions|
|First Monster||To kill Lousang’s mother.||He loved his mother and he never killed other person mothers.|
|Second Monster||To poison old gaffer long.||He was fond of his grandpa and he never killed other man’s.|
|Third Monster||To bring Bhima’s eyeballs.||No one has the right to destroy a girl’s pretty eyes. He never gouges Bhima’s eyes.|
We want to lead a happy life. What according to you can make us happy? Some ways are suggested below. Think about whether they are practicable or impracticable. Discuss and Write them under the two columns appropriately.
a. working hard to satisfy everybody’s wants.
b. giving up all selfish desires.
c. striking a balance between selfishness and sacrifice.
d. working together for the good of all
e. leading a simple, contented life
f. devoting sometime of the day for the good of others.
|(d) Working together for the good of all
(e) Leading a simple contented life.
(f) Devoting sometime of the day for the good of others
|a) working hard to satisfy everybody’s wants
b) giving up all selfish desires.
c) striking a balance between selfishness and sacrifice.
The Bird of Happiness Additional Questions and Answers
Answer the following questions:
Why did none of the people who went in search of the Bird of Happiness return?
The Bird of Happiness was guarded by three monsters who could kill a man by simply blowing through their long beards. They made the journey too tough for the people.
What sustained Wangjia in the second phase of the journey?
When Wangjia had nothing to eat, he went to a river, drank plenty of water and continued on his way and continued with determination.
What did the old folk of Tibet say about happiness?
The old folk used to say that happiness was a beautiful bird. It lived far away, on a snowy mountain in the east. Wherever the bird flew, happiness went with it. The bird was said to be guarded by three monsters.
Why did Wangjia decide not to go back?
Though the journey was very tough, Wangjia decided not to go back. He knew that the people at home were waiting for him to bring back happiness.
What was the result of Wangjia’s journey to find the bird of happiness?
Wangjia was able to achieve what no one else from his village was able to achieve. He was able to find the Bird of Happiness. He was able to make the bird come to his village with him. Since the bird took happiness wherever it went, he was able to make his people happy.
If the monsters are designated to guard the Bird of Happiness, why are they so cruel when the bird itself is so gentle?
The three monsters pose to Wangjia three tests to see if Wangjia would kill and harm others to gain his own end. The monsters pose hardships to see if Wangjia would give up his goal easily or not. Since Wangjia wins the tests given by three different monsters, he gets to see the Bird of Happiness. Thus the monsters, in reality, are the trick used by the Bird of Happiness to determine whether Wangjia is genuinely interested in helping his people out.
How did, the bird of happiness relieve the poor people of their hardships?
Wangjia asked of the bird of happiness for warmth and happiness, forests and flowers, fields and rivers. Standing on the mountain top, the bird gave three loud cries. At the first cry, the golden sun broke through the clouds and a warm breeze came down from the sky. At the second cry, stretch upon stretch of forest appeared all over the mountain. Mountain peach and other mountain flowers bloomed together and thrushes and larks led a chorus of birdsong. At the third cry, green rivers and fields came into view and little white rabbits danced merrily on the grass. The people, who had until then suffered from hunger and cold all the year-round were relieved of their hardships.
The Bird of Happiness Summary in English
Everyone in the world wants to be happy. But how should we get happiness? It is difficult to answer. The author describes one of the Tibetan folktale “The Bird of Happiness”. In ancient times, there was a poor area in Tibet. The people who lived in that area suffered from hunger and cold. There was no river or water source, trees, green grass or any types of crops. No fruits, flowers or vegetables. The land was also not good. The people didn’t know what happiness could be. In spite of that they believed that happiness must exist somewhere in the world. According to the old folk, happiness was a beautiful bird living in a snowy mountain, far away in the east.
Wherever the bird flew, the happiness went with it. This bird was said to be guarded by three old monsters, who could kill the man by simply blowing through their long beards. The people who went in search of this bird never returned. Once an extremely bright boy Wangjia was sent to find the Bird of Happiness. According to Tibetan custom the village girls offered Barley, wine and village mothers spread barley grains on his head and wished him a good journey. Wangjia started his Journey towards east. After many days he reached a large mountain covered with snow and it glittered like silver. At that moment an old monster with a black beard appeared before him. The gigantic monster questioned wangjia who he was and how much, daring he was to step that land.
Wangjia said that he had come, to find the Bird of Happiness. The monster replied if he, wanted to find the Bird of happiness, then before that he should kill lousang’s mother, otherwise he will be punished. Wangjia did not agree to kill her because he loves his mother and said that a monster can do as he wishes. Hearing wangjia’s words the monster became angry and he began to blow through his beard. Immediately the smooth road became a vast land covered with sharp stones.
Wangjia continued his journey, after the first hundred miles the soles of wangjia s boots were ripped, after second hundred miles his feet were cut into pieces; after the third hundred miles, his hands were tom to thin pieces. At that time he thought that it was very difficult to continue. He had a doubt in his mind whether he wants to continue or not. He remembered his people and they had so much confidence in him. How to disappoint those people. So he made up his mind to continue his Journey. He layed on the ground and began to crawl. His clothes were torn; his knees and shoulders were hurt. Finally, he met the second monster.
The second monster was with rage howled if he must poison the old gaffer long, otherwise, he will starve to death. Wangjia rejected to kill him, so in a fury, the old monster blew through his long beard and wangjia’s bread -bag flew into the sky. Suddenly the blue mountains and green rivers turned into a boundless desert and not a small piece of food. Wangjia continued his journey his stomach began rumbling with hunger after the hundred miles of his Journey. After the second hundred miles, he was so hungry and his head swam and he began to see stars, after the third hundred miles he had a sharp pain in his guts as if they were being cut by a knife. At last, he reached the third monster at that moment he was nothing but skin and bone. The third monster was old and had a white bore.
He thundered when he saw Wangjia. If Wangjia wanted to see the bird of happiness he had to bring BhCma’s eyeballs to him. Wangjia bowed his hetitt and thought and then replied that no One’ has the right to destroy a girl’s pretty eyes, So I wouldn’t do this. The old monster’ screamed with anger and began to blow through his long beard. Wangijia’s eyeballs Jumped out of their sockets and he became Blind. Wangjia thought that this must be the’last suffering (ordeal) and then proceeded towards the direction of the rising sun,- He crawled nine hundred miles and climbed to the peak of a snow-covered mountain. He heard the voice of the Bird of Happiness.
The bird said that “My lovely child, have you come here for me?” Wangjia was overwhelmed with Joy replied, yes, I have, our people are very affectionate to see you, please come back with me. The Bird of happiness touched Wangjia with love and sang for him. His eyeballs came back to their sockets, his vision was much better and his wounds were healed and became stronger than before. The bird offered some dried meat and cream cake. The bird carried Wangjia back to his home village and they landed on the mountain top.
The bird asked Wangjia what he wants from it. Wangjia replied they want warmth and happiness, forests and flowers, fields and rivers. The Bird of Happiness gave three loud cries. At the first cry, the golden sun broke through the clouds and a warm breeze came down. At the Second cry, the forest appeared all over the mountains, the flowers bloomed together, larks led a chorus of bird song. At the third cry, green rivers and fields came into existence and little white rabbits danced merrily on the grass. All the people of the village never suffered again from that day.
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