Q. 1. Describe the narrator’s experience of early morning ride with his cousin Mourad.
Ans. It was summer. Early one morning the narrator’s cousin Mourad came to his house. He was sitting on a beautiful white horse. He invited the narrator to enjoy a ride. The narrator got ready and leaped onto the horse behind Mourad. In less than three minutes they were in the open. The horse began to snort. They let the horse run as long as it felt like running. Then, Mourad asked the narrator to get down as he wanted to ride alone. The narrator agreed on the condition that Mourad would let him also try to ride alone. Mourad kicked his heels into the horse. The horse stood on its hind legs, snorted, and began to run. Mourad made the horse run across a field of dry grass to an irrigation ditch. He crossed the ditch on the horse. Five minutes later he returned. Now it was the narrator’s turn to ride alone. When he got onto the back of the horse, it ran down the road to a vineyard instead of running across the field to the irrigation ditch. It began to leap over vines. It had hardly leaped over seven vines when the narrator fell off. The horse kept running, and then disappeared. It took Mourad half an hour to trace the horse and bring it back.
Q. 2. Relate some of the humorous incidents in the story. Which incident do you find most amusing and why?
Ans. The incidents related to uncle Khosrove are quite amusing. The repetition of his pet catch phrase, “It is no harm. Pay no attention to it,” causes humour whenever it is used in an incongruous context. For example, his own son Aram ran eight blocks to the barber shop where Khasrove was having his moustache trimmed to tell him that their house was on fire. This was a serious matter. Instead of leaving the place, he roared. “It is no harm, pay no attention to it.” When the barber explained that his son was saying that his house was on fire, Khosrove silenced him by roaring, “it is no harm.” At the end of the story, uncle Khosrove again became irritated and shouted at farmer John Byro to be quiet. He said, “Your horse has been returned. Pay no attention to it.” The incongruity is obvious. The most amusing incident is the conversation between farmer John Byro and uncle Khosrove when the farmer sighed sadly and bewailed the stealing of his house. Uncle Khosrove remarked. “It is no harm. What is the loss of a horse ?” John Byro tried to convince that his surrey was useless without a horse. Out came Khosrove’s catchword “Pay no attention to it.” This phrase is repeated when the farmer complained that his left leg hurt him. When John Byro said that the horse had cost him sixty dollars, Khosrove remarked, “I spit on money.” The incidents ends at John Byro walking out angrily, slamming the screen door.
Q. 3. How did the narrator reach the conclusion that his cousin Mourad had stolen the horse? Why did he refuse to believe that Mourad could be a thief?
Ans. One summer morning the narrator’s cousin Mourad came to his house. He was riding a beautiful white horse. The narrator wondered how Mourad managed to get the horse. They were living in poverty. They didn’t have enough money to provide themselves with two square meals. So, there was no question of Mourad’s having money to buy the horse. If he could not have brought the horse, he must have stolen it. When the narrator asked him, instead of giving any reply Mourad invited him to ride. The narrator concluded that Mourad had stolen the horse. But he refused to believe that Mourad could be a thief. In the first place, their tribe was famous for honesty and no member of their family could be a thief. Then, the narrator believed that stealing a horse for a ride was not stealing at all. It amounted to stealing only when you offered to sell the horse, which he knew Mourad would never do. So, the narrator believed that Mourad was not a thief, though he had stolen the horse.
Q. 4. Comment on the role of Aram, the narrator, in the story.
Ans. Aram, in the story ‘The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse’ being the narrator plays the role of a commentator also. He not only narrates the various adventures, incidents and actions but also provides useful information regarding the main characters and their behaviour. He seems to be the fulcrum on which the whole story rests. He gives a graphic description of the Garoghlanian tribe, its members, their traits and economic features.Mourad and uncle Khosrove represent the crazy streak in the tribe. Abject poverty of the family does not diminish his pride in his family which is famous for honesty. He says, “no member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief.” He makes a fine distinction between stealing a horse for a ride and stealing a horse to sell it off. He gives a fine description of the horse ride and countryside with its vineyards, orchards, irrigation ditches and country roads.
Q. 5. Compare and contrast uncle Khosrove and cousin Mourad.
Ans. Uncle Khosrove and cousin Mourad have one very important point in common–their craziness. Mourad was considered the natural descendant of uncle Khosrove in this respect. They both are dominating in nature. Both use pet words and phrases and roar aloud to quieten the hearer. While uncle Khosrove says, “It is no harm, pay no attention to it.” Mourad boasts, “I have a way with birds/dogs/farmers.” Khosrove shouts at his son Aram, the barber and farmer John Byro. The narrator is a patient listener to Mourad’s assertions. They are different in their age and physical build up. Uncle Khosrove a middle-aged person is an enormous man with a powerful head of black hair and very large moustache. Mourad is an athletic young chap of thirteen. Khosrove is irritable impatient and furious in temper. Mourad is reasonable in conversation.