“Adventures in a Banyan Tree” is a captivating story that unfolds within the enchanting embrace of a majestic banyan tree, where a group of children embarks on extraordinary adventures, forging unbreakable bonds while discovering the mysteries hidden within its sprawling branches. Read More Class 10 English Summaries.
Adventures in a Banyan Tree Summary
Adventures in a Banyan Tree Summary in English
The house and grounds of our home in India belonged to the Grandfather. But the beautiful old banyan tree was mine because grandfather could not climb it as he was 65 years old. Grandmother often teased him telling him the story of an English woman who died at the age of 117. She would have lived longer if she had not fallen while climbing an apple tree. The branches of the banyan tree curved to the ground and took root again. Thus there were many trees all connected together. It gave me much pleasure. Dehra was a valley at the foot of the Himalayas and the banyan tree was older than anything there.
My first friend was a small grey squirrel. At first he did not like my spoiling his privacy. But I did not have a catapult or airgun. So, soon the squirrel became friendlier. I started giving him pieces of cake and biscuit and he grew bolder. He even started taking food from my hands. Slowly he even started searching my pockets and taking whatever was there. He was very young. His friends and relatives must have thought he was foolish to trust a human being, In the spring, when the banyan tree had small red figs, different kinds of birds would come to eat them. The birds included bulbul, rosy pastors, parrots and crows. During the fruit season, the banyan tree was the noisiest place on the road.
Halfway up the tree I made a small platform. When it was not very hot I spent the afternoons there. I could sit and read there. Sitting here I read Treasure Island’, ‘Huckleberry Finn’, The Mowgli Stories and the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Louisa May Alcott. When I did not read, I would look down through the banyan leaves at the world below. I could see grandmother hanging up or taking down the washing, the cook quarreling with the fruit seller or grandfather complaining that the strong Indian marigolds growing up all over his English garden. Usually only ordinary things happened. But one day there was something very exciting. I saw a mongoose and a cobra fight to death in the garden as I was sitting above them.
It was in an April afternoon. The warm breezes kept people inside their homes. My grandfather was also inside. I was feeling drowsy and was thinking of going for a swim in the pond behind the house. Soon I saw a black cobra coming out of a group of cactus. It was looking for a cooler place in the garden. A mongoose also came out and went towards the cobra. They came face to face.
The Cobra knew that the 3 feet long mongoose is a fine fighter, clever and aggressive. But the cobra was also an experienced fighter. He could move with great speed and strike the mongoose. His sharp teeth were full of poison. It was a battle of champions.
The cobra was not a coward. It hissed. His tongue darted in and out. It was 6 feet long. It raised its body three feet high and raised its broad, spectacled hood. The mongoose was also ready to fight. Its hair on the spine stood up like bristles. They would help him to prevent his body from getting bitten. Although the mongoose and cobra did not know I was sitting up, two other spectators arrived. One was a myna and the other was a jungle crow. They settled down on the cactus to watch the fight.
The cobra swayed slowly from side to side trying to make the mongoose make a false move. But the mongoose knew the power of the glassy eyes of the snake and did not look at them. He was looking at a point just below the cobra’s hood. Moving quickly near the cobra, he made a move to one side. The cobra struck immediately. I thought it was the end of the mongoose. But he neatly jumped to one side and bit the snake on the back and moved away from the reach of the snake.
The moment the cobra struck, the crow and the myna flew fast towards it but they collided in mid-air, and making angry noises, they returned to the cactus.
There was some blood on the cobra’s back. He struck again but missed. The mongoose jumped again and bit the cobra. Again the birds flew towards the snake and bumped into each other and went back.
The 3rd round was different. The crow and the myna dived at the cobra, but they missed their mark. The myna went back, but the crow came again. The cobra struck the crow with great force and it died soon, a little away from the cobra.
The cobra was weakening. The mongoose raised himself on his back legs and picked the cobra by its nose. The cobra tried hard to get free! It coiled around the mongoose. But soon it stopped fighting. The mongoose then dragged it, catching it by the hood, into the bushes. The myna flew away making some noise as if congratulating the mongoose.
I also got down from the tree and went to my house. I told my grandfather about the fight. He was happy that the mongoose had won. He had encouraged the mongoose to live in the garden to keep the snakes off. He often gave it food. He never wanted to tame it because a wild mongoose is better than a tame one.
I often saw the mongoose going round the garden. Once I saw him with an egg in his mouth and. he took it from the poultry house. But he did not harm the birds. Grandmother would forgive him because he kept snakes away from the house.
The banyan tree was also the setting for the Strange Case of the Grey Squirrel and the White Rat. The Grandfather had bought the white rat from the bazaar for four annas. I would often take it to the roots and branches of the old tree. It soon made friendship with the squirrel. They would together go for excursions among the branches.
Then the squirrel Started building a nest. First it tried to build the nest in my pockets. When I vent home I would find straw and grass falling out. One day my Grandmother’s knitting was missing. We looked for it everywhere without success. The next day I saw something shining in the banyan tree. I realized it was the end of the steel knitting needle of Grandmother. The hole was filled with knitting. Among the wool there were three white baby squirrels.
Grandfather had never seen white baby squirrels. When I mentioned that the white rat often visited the tree, Grandfather told me that the squirrel must be the father of the white baby squirrels. He said that rats and squirrels were related to each other and it was possible for them to have babies if they mated.
In the heartwarming conclusion of “Adventures in a Banyan Tree,” readers are reminded that the power of imagination, camaraderie, and the beauty of nature can transform ordinary moments into extraordinary adventures. This timeless tale serves as a testament to the enduring magic of childhood and the profound impact of the natural world on young hearts.
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