A Triumph of Surgery
The story recounts the episode where the narrator, a veterinary surgeon, saves the life of a dog, Tricki,by hospitalising him to prevent him from being overfed by his wealthy owner, Mrs. Pumphrey, who was simply worsening his condition.
Dr. Herriot had pulled up his car when he saw Mrs. Pumphrey with her little dog on the street. The dog was very fat. He had blood-red and rheumy eyes. His tongue lolled from his jaws. Dr. Herriot was shocked to see his appearance.
Mrs. Pumphrey called Tricki (the little dog) as listless. He had no energy. So, she gave him extras between meals. But his health could not be built up. Even the malt, cod liver oil and bowl of Horlicks failed to make him sleepy.
Mrs. Pumphrey cut down on the sweet things but relented when Tricki started getting weaker. She gave him his favourite cream cakes and chocolates. She gave him food at odd and irregular hours. She gave him only little walks and no other exercise.
The doctor advised Mrs. Pumphrey to cut Tricki’s food right down and to give him more exercise. Mrs. Pumphrey got determined to adhere to the doctor’s stern advice. Dr. Herriot watched Tricki’s progress but was not satisfied. Soon after he left eating and kept vomiting and panting. The doctor suggested that Tricki should be kept under observation in the hospital.
Mrs. Pumphrey started wailing when Dr. Herriot took Tricki to his hospital. Everybody in her household, including her maids, were in tears. Tricki could not even wag his tail or kick with his legs. His eyes too had become dull and he lay down motionless on the carpet. The other dogs at the surgery ignored him as an uninteresting object. The doctor gave him plenty of water. He became a bit energetic after two days. On the third day he trotted out and enjoyed the company of other dogs. He also started eating properly.
The doctor did not give Tricki any medicinal treatment. All day, he frolicked with other dogs cheerfully.He got out of danger and started convalescing rapidly. Mrs. Pumphrey enquired about Tricki on phone many times a day. She was suffering from the pangs of his separation. Ultimately, she was told that Tricki had recovered. She reached the 'surgery' by car to collect him. The doctor brought Tricki in his arms. Tricki jumped into Mrs. Pumphrey’s lap and started licking her face. Tears were shining in her eyes. She thanked the doctor with trembling lips.
Choose the correct answer.
Question. The narrator describes Tricki as a “pathetic little animal”. The use of the word ‘pathetic’ indicates that the narrator:
(i) was very fond of Tricki.
(ii) thought Tricki was contemptible.
(iii) pitied Tricki’s condition.
(iv) believed Tricki’s health was deteriorating
Question. Why does the narrator describe being “tramped on and squashed” as joys?
(i) To suggest the irony about the strange ways of dogs.
(ii) To mention the simple pleasures of canine life.
(iii) To compare it to Tricki’s earlier play-time at the house.
(iv) To direct attention towards Tricki’s successful recovery.
Question. Tears shone in Mrs Pumphrey’s eyes because:
(i) she was sad for Tricki as she still looked sickly
(ii) she was angry with the vet.
(iii) she was unhappy as Tricki did not greet her.
(iv) she was happy to see Tricki recovered.
Question. What surprised Tricki’s mistress?
(i) His ill health
(ii) His slow recovery
(iii) His quick recovery
(iv) Dr Herriot’s nature
Question. The doctor helped the chauffeur bring out:
(i) Tricki who had become extremely fat.
(ii) Tricki’s coats, bowls, toys and beds.
(iii) Tricki’s numerous medicines.
(iv) Tricki’s convalescing food and drinks.
Question. What does the reference to Tricki as a “silky little object” signify?
(i) Tricki was a very small and rather pampered dog.
(ii) Tricki was comfortably attired in fine silks and warm coats.
(iii) Unlike the other dogs, Tricki had lived in the lap of luxury with care and grooming.
(iv) The narrator’s mockery of Tricki’s life and treatment with Mrs Pumphrey.
Question. Why is the narrator tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest?
(i) Because he loved Tricki.
(ii) He thought Mrs Pumphrey woudn’t take good care of Tricki.
(iii) They would lose all luxuries like eggs, wine and brandy.
(iv) None of the above
Read the extracts below and answer the questions that follow.
1. I was really worried about Tricki this time. I had pulled up my car when I saw him in the street with his mistress and I was shocked at his appearance. He had become hugely fat, like a bloated sausage with a leg at each corner. His eyes, bloodshot and rheumy, stared straight ahead and his tongue lolled from his jaws.
Mrs Pumphrey hastened to explain, “He was so listless, Mr Herriot. He seemed to have no energy. I thought he must be suffering from malnutrition, so I have been giving him some little extras between meals to build him up, some malt and cod-liver oil and a bowl of Horlicks at night to make him sleep — nothing much really.”
Question. “I was really worried about Tricki this time.” It shows author’s ................... towards Tricki.
Question. Choose the option that lists the set of statements that are NOT TRUE according to the given extract.
(1) Tricki became so fat that he looked like sausage.
(2) Dr James Herriot realised that Tricki was suffering from the illness due to his greed for food.
(3) Mrs Pumphrey took Tricki to walk every morning.
(4) Dr James Herriot had advised Mr* Pumphrey to give Tricki malt, cod-liver oil and a bowl of Horlicks every night.
(i) 1, 4
(ii) 2, 3
(iii) 2, 4
(iv) 3, 4
Question. Pick the option that correctly classifies fact/s (F) and opinion/s (O) of the students below.
(1) I think, Mrs Pumphrey should not have given Tricki so much food every day.
(2) Oh, no! Tricki had become fat only because of his mistress, who gave him malt, cod-liver oil and Horlicks every day.
(3) I am of the opinion that being Tricki’s mistress, Mrs. Pumphrey should have noticed Tricki’s problem at the very outset.
(4) In fact, Tricki was in the habit of eating too much food.
(i) F – 2, 3 and O – 1, 4
(ii) F – 3, 4 and O – 1, 2
(iii) F – 2, 4 and O – 1, 3
(iv) F – 1, 4 and O – 2, 3
Question. How did Tricki’s eyes look like?
(iii) Both (i) and (ii)
(iv) Neither (i) nor (ii)
Question. Based on the given extract, which of the following expressions is incorrect with respect to the word ‘listless’?
(1) Lethargic ← LISTLESS → (3) Inactive
(i) Option (1)
(ii) Option (2)
(iii) Option (3)
(iv) Option (4)
Short Answer Type Questions
Question. In the end of the lesson, Mrs. Pumphery says “This is a triumph of surgery.” Why.
Answer. Mrs. Pumphrey’s dog, Tricki had fallen ill and had to be admitted for treatment to Dr. Herriot’s hospital.Dr. Herriot gave him a lot of water and exercise which helped Tricki to recover. When Mrs. Pumphrey went to collect him, Tricki jumped into her lap and started licking her face. Seeing him fully recovered, Mrs. Pumphrey called it a triumph in surgery.
Question. How would you describe the behaviour of the rich woman Mrs. Pumphrey's, pampering and overfeeding Tricky ?
Answer. Mrs. Pumphrey behaved in a very silly and thoughtless manner by over pampering Tricky. Indirectly, she was responsible for his ill health. It was totally a waste of money. But this behaviour is very common among rich people. It is a general problem of those who live alone.
Question. Why was the narrator shocked at Tricki’s appearance ?
Answer. The narrator was shocked at Tricki’s appearance because he had become very fat. His blood red and rheumy eyes gazed straight. His tongue lolled from his jaws. He had become hugely fat, like a bloated sausage with a leg at each corner.
Question.Why was Dr. Herriot worried about Tricki ?
Answer. Dr. Herriot was worried about Tricki, because the latter was overweight and unable to walk. Moreover Mrs. Pumphrey gave him extra food, sweet things etc. He was hardly given any exercise.
Question. Why was Mr. Herriot tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest ?
Answer. Mrs. Pumphrey used to send lots of things like eggs, wine, brandy etc., for Tricki. But nothing was given to Tricki. All the things were consumed by the doctor and the other members of the hospital. Hence, Mr. Herriot was tempted to keep Tricky as his permanent guest.
Long Answer Type Questions
Question. How can you say that Mrs. Pumphrey was a rich lady ?
Answer. Mrs. Pumphrey was a rich lady who had a small dog, named Tricki. She had pampered the dog by providing him things like a raincoat for wet days, a whole wardrobe, full of tweed coats. There were separate bowls like breakfast bowl, lunch bowl, supper bowl etc. or his different meals. She had a lot of servants and maids to take care of him and to serve Tricki’s favourite cushions, toys and rubber rings. Besides, she owned a chauffeur driven long, black car. All these things suggest that she was a rich lady. She used to give Tricki some extras between meals to build him up. Some molt, cod-liver-oil and a bowl of Horlicks which only the rich can afford to feed their dogs. She also fed him with cream cakes and chocolates which he loved very much.
Question. Was Tricki also to be blamed in more ways than one ? How ?
Answer. Tricki was Mrs. Pumphrey’s favourite dog. No doubt, she loved him very much and so, pampered him. But then, it was Tricki’s fault also. He was a greedy dog who wanted to eat anything and everything which was served to him. He never refused to eat food and used to have meal at any hour of the day or night. He had become a glutton. He changed his system very easily according to the luxuries he got. Apart from all that, he never believed in going for exercises or walk. He rather tried to please his mistress by eating all the time, be it sweets or eggs. So, he was also to be blamed for his present condition. His digestion was disturbed due to overeating. He should have missed some meals.