Windmill in Trouble
About the passage
A. Read to understand
1. Choose the correct options.
The name given to Piet’s windmill is a
the whooshing sound made by its moving
the speed with which its arms moved in the
iii. the similarity between its
arms and the wings of a bird.
The function of the dikes is to
i. block the water from the
North Sea from entering the land.
scoop up the water from the land and push
it into the North Sea.
allow the water from the North Sea to enter
little canals and irrigate the land.
It was important to pull the brake rope to
stop the windmill because there was the possibility that
it would get swept away in
its arms would become locked in the storm.
it would start pumping water into the
2. Answer these questions.
What does the name ‘the Netherlands’ tell
us about the country? (Hint: Find out
what ‘nether’ means.)
Ans. Nether means lower in position. "Netherlands"
literally means "lower countries", influenced by its low land and
flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea
level. One-half of the Netherlands lies below sea level — but since medieval
times, the Dutch have used a clever and comprehensive system of dikes and
levees to keep the country relatively dry.
Why are dikes and windmills important to
Ans. Dikes – Dikes block the water from the North Sea from
entering the land.
Windmills – As it rains a lot in the Netherlands, so the
windmills are used to pump the water out and keep the land dry enough for
What special system of communication is
described in the passage?
Ans. People in the region have worked out a special way of
talking to each other through the windmills. When a windmill’s arms are stopped
and put in a particular position, it means that the owner of the mill is
resting. When the arms are in another position, it signals that the owner and
his family are not at home. There is one position to indicate danger and
another to signal that everything is all right.
What was the ‘special reason’ that Piet had
for watching Groot Vogel?
Ans. The ‘special reason’ that Piet had for watching Groot Vogel
was that he was made the in charge of it as his parents were gone to town.
What did Piet observe when he looked out of
the window after being woken up by the moaning Groot Vogel?
Ans. When he
looked out of the window after being woken up by the moaning Groot Vogel, Piet
observed that a high wind was blowing from the sea, the trees were bent, the
meadow grass lay flat, other windmill were dead still and their arms were
locked in the position of danger.
B. Read to infer
Why did Piet find it difficult to get hold
of the brake rope at first?
Ans. Piet found it difficult
to get hold of the brake rope at first because wind blew against him and
knocked him down.
Piet, through his quick thinking and
bravery, saved not only the windmill but also himself. Support this statement.
Ans. Piet could feel the mill
was shaking but he did not think much about it. He pushed himself inch by inch
along the trembling side of Groot Vogel. He grabbed at brake rope but missed it
three times. Then, the wind caused the rope to scrape across his face and he
grabbed the rope with both hands and pulled with all his might. Slowly, the
huge arms of the windmill came to rest. This way he, through his quick thinking and bravery, saved not only the
windmill but also himself.
‘As he waited for them, he felt very big’.
Explain this line.
Ans. He felt very big because
through his quick thinking and bravery, he saved not only the windmill but also
Look up this web page and read yet another
story of a Dutch boy like Piet.
similarities or differences do you find between this story and the passage you
just read? Discuss in class.
(Do it yourself)