The silent grasslands.

silence                                                very quiet, no sounds

whim                                                  wish

uninhabited                                      no people living there, or almost no-one

galaxy                                                the huge group of stars the Earth belongs to

opaline                                             like the white opal, shiny and bright

insignificant                                   very small, as if you don’t matter at all

emptiness                                      empty, nothing there

vast                                                 very big, huge, wide land

unimpeded                                     nothing to stop it

Yurt                                                 the name of the round houses in Inner Mongolia

Never had he heard such silence.  Never before had he been in such a wide open place, where the cold wind could wander at will, to go around or through you depending on its whim.  Never had he seen such a vast almost uninhabited land, with few people, no high rises, no buses, cars or motorbikes with horns a-honking.

He stood in awe, neck straining back, eyes reflecting the millions of stars in the sky.  Never had he seen such a clear sky.  He gazed at the edge of our galaxy displaying its splendor as it silently flowed from north to south, its white opaline dust almost within reach. This was the first time in his twenty eight years of life he had seen the Milky Way.

Never had he felt so small, so insignificant, such a little speck on this great big ball we call our home.  Never before had he felt such oneness with the earth, with the endless sky, and the emptiness of it all.


Dawn on the grasslands.

For a young Chinese man, used to living in what are called ‘small’ cities of perhaps two or three million people, these vast grasslands were a wonderland of space.  The tall grass heads moved with a breeze unimpeded by endless blocks of tall apartments.  The air was clean. There was no smog, no fumes from hundreds of smelly old buses going by.  The water running beside the roadside was clear and pure, and out in the vast emptiness there was no light pollution to veil the stars from his gaze.

A Yurt, the round homes on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia.

He stood there in the late evening, outside the little Yurt he would soon sleep in.  He stood thus for a long long time, quiet, absorbing the silence, opening his face to the wind, and listening to the silence of a broad land at peace. He watched as the moon slowly rose over the trees, and listened to the faint night sounds of the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. He also was at peace.



Questions for review.

1. What is this story about?

2. Where is this story talking about?

3. Can you find Inner Mongolia on the map?

4. Describe the grasslands.

5. Describe the picture, what can you see?

6. How are the grasslands different from your hometown?

7. What are some of the things he can see?

8. What are some of the things he can hear?

9. Have you ever been somewhere at night where you could see a very clear sky and all the stars?

10. How did it make you feel?

11. How did the man in the story feel?


2 Responses to The silent grasslands.

  1. Asha says:

    I love this story it is so heart felt and moving and has inspired me to write a poem about the stars! “They shine so bright ,so high in the sky yet so far.the Milky Way whossing past with out a sound. The stars tell stories some known others are forgotten” thanks so much for inspiring me!!!!!!:-)

    • admin says:

      I am very happy you like my poems. Thanks for your feedback. Writing is a great way to get your feelings on paper…..

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