Chapter 1: The Markhor (Prose)

Introduction: This lesson highlights the characteristics of an animal species found in the subcontinent—the Markhor, a goat. The Markhor (Capra Falconeri) is one of the largest and the most distinctive members of the Caprinae or goat family.

Summary

Shayan’s father was promoted and transferred to Leh(Ladakh) as headmaster and posted in Hemis- Shukpachan of Khalsi zone. Shayan accompanied his father. Shayan’s father, lived in Sonam’s house as a paying guest. Shayan joined the same school and made friends with Sonam who had keen interest in wild life. Both Shayan and Sonam discussed about endangered species “Markhor”. The “Markhor” is an interesting and informative story about a particular species of animals called Markhors, which means giant goats. The word “Markhor” is derived from two Persian words “mar”—a snake and “khor”—eater. To call these goats “Markhor” is somewhat puzzling. However, their corkscrew horns are similar to that of a snake’s winding body and that is how they got the name.

Markhors live in mountains at a height of 600 to 3500 metres. They are found in the wooded mountains of Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan,

Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and in the Pir Panjal Range of India. The Pir Panjal Range is the name of the mountains stretching between Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Pakistan. The Markhor is mainly active in the early morning and late afternoon. It often stand on its hind legs in order to reach high vegetation. They are herbivorous animals(grass eater).

Physical description of the Markhor :

Length= 132-186 cm
Height = 65- 115 cm,
Tail length=8-20 cm
Weight= 32-110 kg.

Males have long hair on the chin, throat, chest and shanks, while females are redder in colour, with shorter hair, a short black beard, and are maneless. The tightly curled corkscrew horns are present in both the sexes. In males, they can grow up to 160cm/64inches and upto 25cm/10 inches in females.

Mating in Markhors take place in winter and the gestation period lasts between 135 to 170 days , and usually results in the birth of one or two kids, rarely three. Markhors live in flocks, usually numbering nine head, consisting of adult females and their young ones. Adult males prefer isolation.

Like bacterian camel, it is also an endangered species as its number is decreasing very fast. The International Union for the conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has classified the Markhor as an endangered species, meaning it is in danger of facing extinction in the near future if conservation efforts are not maintained. It is estimated that there are around 2000 to 4000 Markhors existing in the world.

After a healthy discussion between teacher, Shayan and Sonam , Shayan expressed his wish to see Markhor. Sonam planned a trip early in the morning to the upper reaches, where they could have a glimpse of Markhors from a close distance near a brook. Shayan’s father made the arrangements (gurgur tea and local bread for breakfast, momos for lunch and two donkeys for riding). The group set out early in the morning and reached a cliff near a brook. Leaving the animals at a distance , the boys crept to the verge of the cliff. They saw a herd of Markhors near the brook down the cliff enjoying the morning sun. The boys enjoyed the sight for quite sometime.

Shayan asked Sonam, “Can’t Markhors be domesticated?

Sonam replied, “No, we can’t”. The Markhor is a wild animal—an endangered species. Threats include hunting pressure, human warfare and increasing disturbance and competition from domestic goats and sheep. Despite international and nation wide protection, the population of the flare-horned Markhor is said to have been halved in the last twenty –five years.

The Markhor needs to be preserved, otherwise, we will be deprived of a great wildlife treasure.

( Worksheet No.1)

I. Write down the meaning of following new words with the help of dictionary.

  1. Endangered
  2. Hemis- Shukpachan
  3. khalsi
  4. corkscrew
  5. giant
  6. cliff
  7. hind legs
  8. horns
  9. winding
  10. maneless
  11. shank
  12. hind legs
  13. vegetarian
  14. horns
  15. mesmerize
  16. bark
  17. gurgur tea
  18. momos
  19. crept
  20. lock horns
  21. long
  22. isolation
  23. preserved
  24. deprived
  25. treasure

Answer Key (Worksheet No.1)

endangered : likely to become extinct

Hemis- Shukpachan: a village in khalsi and home to many rare wildlife species

khalsi: a place on Srinagar- Leh Highway, 100 kms away from Leh

corkscrew: tightly twisted or curled

giant: extremely large

hind legs: the back limb of a quadruped

horns : hard pointed things that some animals have on their heads

winding : with bends or curves in it

maneless: having no mane(hair growing on back)

shank : the part of an animal’s leg between the knee and the ankle

vegetation: all the plants that are found in a particular place

cliff: a high steep rock

mesmerize : to have someone’s attention completely so that they cannot think of anything else.

bark: to relax in the sun

gurgur tea: local ladakhi salty-tea to which butter is added (churned)
momos : special ladakhi ‘Samosa’ type steamed dish
crept :crawled
lock horns : engage in conflict
long: desire

isolation: the state of being separate and alone

preserve : to keep something as it is

deprived: not having enough of the basic things in life, such as food, money etc.

Treasure : a collection of very valuable objects

II. 1. Passages for Comprehensiion:

Shayan’s father was promoted and transferred to Leh(Ladakh) as headmaster and posted in Hemis- Shukpachan of Khalsi zone. Shayan accompanied his father. Shayan’s father, lived in Sonam’s house as a paying guest. Shayan joined the same school and made friends with Sonam who had keen interest in wild life. Both Shayan and Sonam discussed about endangered species “Markhor”. The “Markhor” is an interesting and informative story about a particular species of animals called Markhors, which means giant goats. The word “Markhor” is derived from two Persian words “mar”—a snake and “khor”—eater. To call these goats “Markhor” is somewhat puzzling. However, their corkscrew horns are similar to that of a snake’s winding body and that is how they got the name.

Choose the correct answer:

1. Who was promoted as a headmaster?

a) Shayan b) Sonam

c) Shayan’s father d) None of these

Ans. c) Shayan’s father

2. Markhor means a ________

a) snake eater b) eagle eater

c) man eater d) none of these

Ans. a) snake eater

Fill in the blanks:

3. Sonam is interested in wildlife(wild life/domestic life).

4. Markhor’s corkscrew horns are similar to that of a snake’s winding body.( snake’s/ camel’s)

2. Passage For Comprehesion

Males have long hair on the chin, throat, chest and shanks, while females are redder in colour, with shorter hair, a short black beard, and are maneless. The tightly curled corkscrew horns are present in both the sexes. In males, they can grow up to 160cm/64inches and upto 25cm/10 inches in females. Mating in Markhors take place in winter and the gestation period lasts between 135 to 170 days , and usually results in the birth of one or two kids, rarely three. Markhors live in flocks, usually numbering nine head, consisting of adult females and their young ones. Adult males prefer isolation. Choose the correct option:

1. The tightly curled corkscrew horns are present in ___________

a) males

b)females

c)both males and females

d)none of these

Ans. c)both males and females

2. Mating in Markhors take place in ________

a) summer b)winter
c) autumn d) spring

Ans. b)winter

Fill in the blanks.

3. Markhors live in _________(flocks/separate).

4. Adult males prefer ____isolation/incontact).

5. The antonym of the word adult is __________(infant/grown-up).

III.Textual Questions (Answers)

Q1.Where is the Markhor found?

Ans. Markhor is an endangered animal. It is is found in high wooded mountains of Northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and the Pir Panjal range of India.

Q2.What does ‘Markhor’ mean?

Ans.The name ‘Markhor’ is derived from the two Persian word; mar—a snake and khor—eating. Hence, the name Markhor means ‘snake eater’.

Q3.What are the dangers that the Markhor faces?

Ans. Human warfare , hunting pressure and increasing disturbances and competition from domestic goats and sheep are threats faced by Markhor. Markhor is facing the danger of extinction. They will vanish from this living world if the conservation efforts are not maintained.

Q4. Why does the Markhor climb cliffs?

Ans. Markhor finds itself safe at high slopes. To protect itself from human hunting it climbs steep cliffs. Moreover, it also enjoys the morning sun and freely grazing there.

Q5. What is the status of the Markhor?

Ans. There are about 2000 to 4000 Markhors existing in the wild forests. But it has been classified as an endangered species, means it is in danger of facing extinction in the near future, if conservation efforts are not maintained.

Q6. Give a physical description of the Markhor.

Ans. Physical description of the Markhor : length= 132-186cm, height = 65- 115cm, tail length=8-20cm and weight= 32-110kg.

IV. Language Work Answers

Make sentences from the given jumbled words:

1.Railway/we/at/meet/will/station/the.

1.We will meet at the railway station.

2.cot/the/is/the/baby/sleeping/on.

2.The baby is sleeping on the cot.

3.people/slowly/very/walk/old.

3.Old people walk very slowly.

4.team/goals/our/five/easily/by/won.

4.Our team easily won by five goals.

5.students/punctual/be/must.

5.Students must be punctual.

6.problem/taking/long/are/you/how/solve/to/the?

6.How long you are taking to solve the problems?

7. garden/flowers/not/do/from/pluck/this.

7. Donot pluck these flowers from garden.

8. animals/ many/strange/are/there/zoo/the/in.

8. There are many strange animals in the zoo.

9. chocolates/child/fond/very/of/my/is.

9. My child is very fond of chocolates.

10. boy/has/kidnapped/the/somebody.

10. Somebody has kidnapped the body.

V. Grammar work Solutions

Fill in the blanks with appropriate tense forms of the verbs and modals wherever necessary.

1. The sun rises (rise) in the east.

2. I take (take) milk every morning.

3. Raja is playing (play) the piano.

4.Simran is going (go) to join college next weak.

5. Rohit is swimming (swim) in the pool.

6. It is raining (rain) today.

7. Seneen is going (go) home tomorrow.

8. I will do (do) your work on Monday.

9. Rafi promises me that he is coming (come) the next day.

10. I saw (see) a movie yesterday.

11. He never worked (work) hard and, therefore, failed.

12. The teacher came (come ) to the class at 10 a.m. sharp.

13. Suhail is looking (look) at the flowers in the garden.

14. He goes (go) to crèche everyday.

15. She eats (eat) bread and butter in the morning.

16. He never trusts (trust) me.

17. He came (come) with me to my aunt’s place yesterday.

18. He is coming (come) with me to my uncle’s house tomorrow.

19. She is wearing (wear) a beautiful dress.

20. She wore (wear) out of fashion dress.

VI. Let’s talk

Have you visited any wildlife sanctuary? What animals did you see there? Share your experiences with your brother, sister and nearby friends.

(Topic for students to discuss)

VII. Let’s Write

1. Write about the flora and fauna found in your area.

Flora

1. Tahli(seesam)

2. Pallahi (Acacia species)

3. Shahtoot (Mulberry)

4. Dharenk(Melia indica)

5. Pine (Pinus species)

Fauna

1. leopard .

2. cheetah

3. wild sheep

4.deer

5. bear

2. Write a letter to your friend about your visit to a small wildlife sanctuary.


Rajouri

15th Oct,2020.

Dear Amaira,

I hope this letter will find you in pink of health. Last week, I visited a wildlife sanctuary along with my family and the experience was amazing.

The lush greenery of the forest was mesmerizing. The tiger and lion were just few inches far away from me when it climbed on the vehicle. I have almost seen many animals and they were amazing.

Finally we met a giant group of elephant’s and the view was amazing. I felt happy, because so many animals have got their home and it would protect them from getting extinct. This trip was one of the most favourite trips of mine as I enjoyed a lot with my family.

My well wishes to your mom and dad.

Yours truly

Vedehi



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