"Wit and humour are indispensible though some consider these two are distinct entities. Wit is the ability to say or write things that are both clever and amusing. Sometimes it is found in offering solutions to tricky problems. India has abundant literature on wit. The stories of Tenali Raman, Pancha Tantra, Arabian Knight Stories, Chandamama stories bear testimony to this. These are considered to be must-read stories to children. These stories develop sound logic, a deep sense of humour which go a long way in making the life of people more harmonious. They also develop philosophical insights into different social questions. The present unit brings to us two valuable pieces- a one act play and a short story."

Part-A & B: The Dear Departed

The one act play, ‘ The Dear Departed’ is presented in two parts as A & B Readings. It was written by W S Houghton in 1908,who had a remarkable gift for dialogue. In the present play he satirizes the degradation of moral vaues in t he British middle- class. Though the play is from British background, it has universal appeal and hence it holds mirror to the contemporary society.

Part-C: The Brave Potter

Children have a strong love for stories that fire their imagination. The C Reading includes The Brave potter which exactly does this, making the story all the more interesting. It is  basically a Telugu story and was published by Marguerite Siek in English language. The story has a lot of interesting turns in store for the readers. The children will find a lot of pleasure in reading these two (The Dear Departed and The Brave Potter) and find them amusing and thought provoking. These will leave an everlasting impression in their minds. It is hoped that, by reading this, the learners will evince interest in reading some original literature in the future.


  • D'ye : Do you (used in awkward situation)
  • Precocious (adj) : intelligent / gifted / talented
  • Bureau (n) : a writing desk with drawers
  • Daft (adj) : stupid / silly
  • Pinch (v) : steal
  • Mantelpiece (n) : a shelf projecting from the wall over the fireplace
  • Usher (v) : lead / show the way / welcome
  • Complacent (adj) : self-satisfied / unconcerned
  • Chirpily (adv) : cheerfully and actively
  • Snug (v) : warm, comfortable and protected from the cold
  • Overdue (adj) : not paid by the expected time
  • Swindling (v) : cheating somebody for property or money
  • Transfixed (v) : became motionless in fear
  • Chuckling (v) : a quiet laugh of mild amusement or satisfaction
  • Clad (adj) : wearing a particular type of clothing
  • Malicious (adj) : hatred / harmful
  • Blinding (adj) : very bright
  • Thatched (adj) : covered with dried straw
  • Palm-wine (n) : toddy / fermented palm juice drunk by village folk (thaati kallu in Telugu)
  • Muttered (v) : spoke something unheard
  • Saddle (n) : a leather seat for a rider on a horse
  • Stirrups (n) : metal rings that hand down on each side of a horse's saddle, used to support the rider's foot
  • Pawing (v) : touching something repeatedly with a paw
  • Hooves (n) : a short jump by an animal with all feet together
  • Crashing (v) : falling
  • Reins (n) : long leather bands held by a horse rider to control it
  • Sentry (n) : guard / a soldier whose job is to guard something
  • Uprooted (v) : pulled a tree or a plant out of the ground
  • Cheering crowds (phr) : a large gathering of people shouting in joy

Idioms, Phrases and Phrasal Verbs

  • The Dear Departed (idm): This is an idiomatic expression. This means ‘the deadperson’. This phrase is used by people to avoid the word ‘dead’.
  • Get her own way (idiom): To persuade other people to allow her to do what she wants (to do what she wants in spite of opposition)
  • Call into (phr) : call to a person to come to some place
  • Be off (phr.v) : go away / depart / leave
  • Would never do (phr.) : not appropriate / not suitable in some way
  • For ages (idiom) : for a long time
  • Talk over (phr. v) : speak with others about something / have a discussion
  • Set foot (idiom) : enter
  • Breaking down (phr. v): failing to function
  • Arrange with (phr.v) : plan something to include something
  • Drive a hard bargain (idiom): work hard to negotiate agreements in one’s own favour
  • Got her eye (idiom) : looked at / noticed
  • Get rid of (phr. v) : throw away / remove / discard as undesirable
  • Get off (phr.v) : (here) remove / take off
  • Take off (phr.v) : remove
  • Run up (phr.v) : move quickly to some place
  • Stagger in (phr.v) : walk
  • Irritating air (phr.) : annoying impression
  • Give way (idiom) : collapse or fall down suddenly
  • Down the street (phr.) : in the same street
  • On purpose (idiom) : intentionally / deliberately
  • Put up with (phr.v) : tolerate / bear
  • Nothing short of (idiom): strongly showing the quality of / equal to
  • Turnover (phr.v) : put someone under the control of someone
  • For certain (idiom) : without doubt / definitely
  • Pick up (phr. v) : buy / collect / gather
  • stockinged feet (phr) : wearing socks, but not wearing shoes
  • What the devil (phr.) : old fashioned way of showing annoyance or displeasure. This phrase is always used in questions.
  • Took by surprise (idm) : surprised somebody / happened unexpectedly so that somebody is slightly shocked
  • What the dickens (idm) : (old-fashioned and informal) used in questions instead of ‘devil’ to show that you are annoyed or surprised
  • Put on (phr.v) : wear
  • At a loss (idm) : puzzled
  • Nothing short of (idm) : as bad as/ as same as/ more or less the same as something bad
  • In black (phr.) : in dark or black clothes as a sign of mourning at somebody’s death
  • Bits of things (phr) : property
  • Put up with (phr.v) : bear / look after / treat
  • Out of senses (phr.) : silly and senseless /crazy and irrational.
  • A good while (idm) : for quite some time / or a long time
  • Look after (phr.v) : take care of somebody or something
  • Nod off (phr.v) : fall asleep
  • Would rather (v. phr) : prefer to
  • Broke out (phr.v) : started
  • Your Majesty (phr) : way of addressing a king or a queen
  • Gates of the city (phr) : in the old times a city was protected by huge strong walls and doors against attacks by the enemy
  • At dawn (phr) : early morning / at the time of sunrise
  • Bare hands (phr) : (here) without any weapon in hands
  • Cheering crowds (phr): a large gathering of people shouting in joy?


  • Daft : silly, idiotic
  • Swindle : cheat, con, cozen, deceive, defraud, dupe
  • Malice : animosity, bitterness, enmity, hate, grudge
  • Plump : fat, fleshy, stout, obese, bonny
  • Obvious : exposed, liable, open, clear
  • Poke : punch, push, shove, pierce, thrust
  • Consternation: alarm, dread, fear, fright


  • Malice x goodwill
  • Vulgar x refined, cultured
  • Splendid x squalid
  • Giant x dwarf
  • Reward x punishment