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9 unit.
Exploring the World


Reading for Discussion

20. Read the text, listen to it carefully, 49, and say what made Wendy agree to go away with Peter Pan.

Come Away, Come Away!

(After J. M. Barrie)

Some loud noise woke Wendy, and she sat up in bed. Then she searched for the candle and lit it. She was not frightened to see a stranger crying on the floor; she was only pleasantly interested.

Boy, she said kindly, why are you crying?

Peter could be extremely polite, so he rose and bowed1 to her beautifully.

Whats your name? he asked.

Wendy Moira Angela Darling, she replied solemnly. Whats your name?

Peter Pan.

Is that all?

Yes, he said rather anxiously. He felt for the first time that it was a tremendously short name.

She asked where he lived.

Second to the right, said Peter, and then straight on till morning.

What a funny address!

No, it isnt, he said firmly.

I mean, Wendy said nicely, remembering she was hostess, is that what they put on the letters?

Dont get any letters, he said with regret.

But your mother gets letters?

Dont have a mother, he mumbled. Not only had he no mother, but he had not the slightest wish to have one. Wendy, however, felt at once that she was in the presence of tragedy.

O Peter, no wonder you were crying, she said and got out of bed and ran to him.

I wasnt crying about mothers, he said staring at her. I was crying because I cant get my shadow to stick on. Besides, I wasnt crying.

It has come off? asked Wendy pop-eyed.


Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor and she was frightfully sorry for Peter and willing to help him. How awful! she said. Fortunately she knew at once what to do. It must be sewn on, she said. I shall sew it on for you, my little man, she said, though he was as tall as herself, and she got out her sewing basket and sewed the shadow on to Peters foot. Peter was so happy that he started bouncing about. He had already forgotten that it was Wendy who helped him. He thought he had sewn the shadow on himself. How clever I am, he shouted, oh, the cleverness of me! he repeated with triumph.

Wendy was taken aback. Indeed, she exclaimed with sarcasm, of course I did nothing! You did a little, Peter said carelessly and continued to dance.

A little! she replied angrily. If I am no use, I can go to bed, and she got into bed and covered her face with the blankets.

Peter sat on the end of the bed. Wendy, he said, dont go to sleep. And then he continued in a voice that no woman has ever yet been able to resist,2 Wendy, one girl is more use than twenty boys.

Do you really think so, Peter? murmured Wendy.

Yes, I do. Without any doubt.

I think it is perfectly sweet of you, she smiled, and Ill get up again.

When people are introduced, it is customary for them to ask each others age, and so Wendy, who always liked to do the correct thing, asked. Peter how old he was. It was not really a happy question to ask him; it was like an examination paper that asked grammar, when what you want to be asked is Kings of England.

I dont know, he replied gloomily, but I am quite young. He really knew nothing about it. Wendy, I ran away the day I was born. It was because I heard father and mother talking about what I was to be when I became a man. I dont want ever to be a man. On the contrary, I want always to be a little boy and to have fun. So I ran away to Kensington Gardens and lived a long, long time among the fairies.

Wendy had lived such a home life that to know fairies struck her as quite wonderful. She poured out questions about fairies and though the questions were rather a nuisance3 to him, Peter told her what he knew. Then Wendy asked him more questions.

If you dont live in Kensington Gardens now

Sometimes I do still, Peter mumbled.

But where do you live mostly now?

With the lost boys.

Who are they? Wendy seemed much interested.

They are the children who fall out of their prams when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are not asked back in seven days, they are sent far away to the Neverland. Im a captain.

What fun it must be! said Wendy in fascination.

Yes, said cunning4 Peter, but we are rather lonely. You see we have no girlfriends.

Are there no girls?

Oh no, girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams.

Wendy was impressed. I think, she said, it is perfectly lovely the way you talk about girls; my brother John just despises us. Wendy felt she was having a real adventure. She was just slightly disappointed when Peter said that he came to her window not to see her but to listen to stories which her mother told every evening.

You see I dont know any stories for some reason. None of the lost boys knows any stories, said Peter with regret.

How perfectly awful, Wendy said. Can you all be under the spell? I am not sure, Peter answered. O Wendy, your mother was telling you such a lovely story.

Which story was it?

About the prince who couldnt find the lady who wore the glass slippers.

Peter, said Wendy excitedly, that was Cinderella, the prince was desperate to find her and he did. They lived happily ever after.

Peter was so glad that he rose from the floor, where they had been sitting, and hurried to the window.

Where are you going? she cried.

To tell the other boys.

Dont go, Peter, she asked, I know such a lot of stories. I have devoured so many books. Im a great storyteller.

He came back and there was a greedy look in his eyes now.

Wendy, do come with me and tell the other boys. How we should all respect you. You could tuck us in at night.


None of us has ever been tucked in at night. And you could mend our clothes and make pockets for us. None of us has any pockets.

How could she resist? Of course its awfully fascinating! she cried. But I cant fly.

Ill teach you.

1 to bow
2 to resist
3 to be a nuisance to sb , -
4 cunning

21. Read the text again and find out;

  1. how Peter demonstrated his politeness when he met Wendy;
  2. in what way Wendys name differed from Peters;
  3. what Peters address was;
  4. what made Peter very happy;
  5. when Peter ran away from home;
  6. where Peter had lived before and where he was living then;
  7. what story Wendys mother was telling the children when Peter came to listen at the window;
  8. what made Peter ask Wendy to come away with him;
  9. what he said she could do for them.

22. Here are answers to some questions on the text. Make up the questions.

  1. No, she wasnt. She was just pleasantly interested.
  2. Because she was hostess.
  3. She sewed it on to Peters foot.
  4. She got into bed and covered her face with blankets.
  5. He said he was quite young.
  6. About fairies.
  7. John.
  8. To listen to her mothers stories.
  9. To tell the other boys.
  10. To fly.

23. Explain why:

  1. Peters address seemed funny to Wendy;
  2. Wendy felt sorry for Peter;
  3. Wendy forgave Peters tactless behaviour;
  4. Wendy asked Peter about his age;
  5. it was not a happy question to ask;
  6. Peter didnt want to grow up;
  7. knowing fairies struck Wendy as quite wonderful;
  8. Peters words about girls impressed Wendy;
  9. Wendy agreed to come away with Peter;
  10. the country where Peter lived was called Neverland.

24. Say:

  1. how much youve learnt about Peter;
  2. how much youve learnt about Wendy;
  3. if youve read the book of Peter Pan or seen the film made after this book and what impression they made on you;
  4. why Peter Pan has remained a favourite book character for so many years;
  5. where you can see the statue of Peter Pan,

25. Act out the talk between Wendy and Peter Pan.

26. Say:

  1. if you would be afraid if you saw a stranger crying on the floor of your room at night;
  2. what you would do if it happened;
  3. what questions you would ask this strange boy;
  4. what you would feel if Peter told you that he couldnt stick his shadow on;
  5. if you would try to help him;
  6. if you would want to be a little boy or a little girl and have fun or if you would like to grow up, why;
  7. if you would believe cunning Peter when he said how much he needed Wendys help if you were Wendy;
  8. if you would like to learn to fly if you could;
  9. where you would fly;
  10. if you would go away with Peter.