Chapters 1–3

In this memoir, primatologist Jane Goodall recounts her childhood love of animals and her work with chimpanzees in Africa.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. protrude
    extend out or project in space
    I saw a round white object gradually protruding from the feathers between her legs.
  2. strut
    walk with a lofty proud gait
    With loud, pleased clucks, the chicken shook her feathers, moved the egg with her beak, then proudly strutted her way out of the henhouse.
  3. domestic
    converted or adapted to use in the home
    Then he discovered that if he hatched mallard duck eggs, the ducklings refused to follow him. But if they were hatched by a domestic duck, they followed her at once.
  4. clamber
    climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
    If Tinbergen placed such a monster near the nest of a herring gull or an oyster catcher, she would leave her own egg and desperately (and hopelessly) try to clamber onto the monstrous fake!
  5. graze
    feed as in a meadow or pasture
    She loved geese, and there were always six or more grazing on the grass near the house.
  6. placidly
    in a quiet and tranquil manner
    In those days they were all milked by hand, and I loved to watch the dairymaid squirt the white milk into her pail while the cow placidly chewed its cud.
  7. ration
    a fixed portion that is allotted
    The grown-ups usually gave us children most of their rations of candy, milk, and eggs.
  8. conservatory
    a greenhouse in which plants are arranged
    One summer we made a museum in the glass conservatory.
  9. bridle
    headgear for a horse
    The only part I didn’t much enjoy was the endless cleaning of the tack—the saddles and bridles.
  10. halter
    rope or canvas headgear for a horse, with a rope for leading
    We rode them, bareback with just a halter, to the riding stable.
  11. groom
    give a neat appearance to
    Then I would groom them, give each of them a pile of hay, and get the tack ready for the first ride.
  12. plait
    make by braiding or interlacing
    On those days I had the thrill of getting up even earlier, grooming Quince until she shone, plaiting her mane and tail, oiling her hooves, then traveling with her in the horse trailer.
  13. pram
    a baby carriage with four wheels
    Sometimes I put him in pajamas and wheeled him around the streets in our old pram.
  14. bleak
    unpleasantly cold and damp
    The part of Germany I was in was bleak, flat, and dreary.
  15. bound
    move forward by leaping
    And I remember early morning walks through flat, frosty fields where I saw hares bound away over the white, hard ground.
  16. smattering
    a slight or superficial understanding of a subject
    Because, as I’ve told you, I was bad at languages, I only picked up a smattering.
  17. spire
    a tall tower that forms the superstructure of a building
    As you looked out across the flattened, battered city, you could see the spire of Cologne Cathedral.
  18. sermon
    an address of a religious nature
    Seeing the spire of Cologne Cathedral that day meant more to me than all the sermons I had ever listened to.
  19. shorthand
    a method of writing rapidly
    And so I learned how to type and do shorthand and simple bookkeeping.
  20. bookkeeping
    the activity of recording business transactions
    And so I learned how to type and do shorthand and simple bookkeeping.
  21. spastic
    suffering from a loss or deficiency of motor control
    There were spastic children, who would never be able to look after themselves.
  22. ward
    block forming a division of a hospital shared by patients
    They didn’t want her shut into one of those places for the insane, so they paid for her to stay in the children’s ward of a big hospital.
  23. punt
    propel with a pole
    I also learned to punt, which is much harder than canoeing.
  24. deftly
    in an agile manner
    I learned to deftly lift a slice of meat or a helping of vegetables with serving spoon and fork neatly manipulated in one hand while holding the dish with the other.
  25. fare
    the sum charged for riding in a public conveyance
    How exciting—I now had enough money, along with the small amount I had saved while in London, for a round-trip fare to Africa!
Created on August 27, 2019 (updated August 27, 2019)

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