CBSE -Class X- Footprints without Feet — A Triumph of Surgery -Explanation with Q & A

A Triumph of Surgery

Tricki was a pet dog belonging to Mrs. Pumphrey. Mr. Herriot is possibly a family friend of hers. She was a very rich lady. She doted upon Tricki, pampering him to the extreme. For his comfort, he was given a collection of coats, beds, blankets etc. But, more worryingly, Mrs. Pumphrey gave him the choicest foods far in excess of his needs. To make matters worse, The dog was not given the daily dose physical activity. This made Tricki gain weight at an alarming rate, so much so that Mr. Herriot could barely recognize him some days later, when he met Mrs. Pumprey on the road.
Mr. Herriot made inquiries about Tricki’s food intake and exercise schedule. To his horror, he discovered that Tricki was splurging on all types of fattening delicacies that included sweet dishes like chocolates etc. The dog had stopped indulging in any vigorous physical activity that all dogs are genetically programmed to do. Mrs. Pumphrey had been the root cause of Tricki’s fat build-up, although she never realized her excessive affection was causing Tricki great harm.
Mr. Herriot firmly, but politely told Mrs. Pumphrey to put Tricki on a lean diet till he shed all his excess weight. Mrs. Pumphrey grudgingly went by Mr. Herriot’s instructions and cut down on the dog’s food quota.
Just a few days later, Mrs. Pumphrey called Mr. Herriot to tell him that Tricki was in a miserable state. He was refusing to eat any food t all. His health was deteriorating fast. There was marked concern in her voice.
Read and find out ..
a. Why was Mrs. Pumphrey worried about Tricki… Tricki was refusing to eat, and was losing energy and vitality fast. It was a sure sign of a serious ailment that could be fatal. This made her worried.
b. What did she do to help him? Was she wise in this … Quite foolishly, she tried to feed Tricki more. She couldn’t figure out that overfeeding had robbed Tricki of his natural craving for food. She was naïve in trying this.
c. Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story .. ‘I’ refers to Mr. Herriot.
Mr. Herriot rushed to her place, and had a hard look at Tricki. The poor dog really seemed to be in great distress. Life had gone out of its body. Mr. Herriot thought through the situation quickly, and told Mrs. Pumphrey that Tricki needed to be hospitalized urgently to ward off any more danger to its life and health. She agreed to the idea, and let Mr. Herriot take Tricki to the surgery (hospital). It was not a pleasant situation for her. She got a full complement of Tricki’s dress, bed etc. loaded in Mr. Herriot’s car, so that Tricki spent his time in the surgery in relative comfort.
Read and find out ..
a. Is the narrator as rich as Tricki’s mistress.. No. She appears to far more affluent than Mr. Herriot.
b. How does he treat the dog . He treats the dog affectionately, but in a very practical and desirable way.
c. Why was he tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest .. This is possibly a light-hearted comment, because Mr. Herriot was getting sumptuous food items and wine to hasten Tricki’s recovery. The other serious reason could be the fact that Mrs. Pumphrey might endanger Tricki’s health again by overfeeding him.
d. Why did Mrs. Pumphrey think that Tricki’s recovery was a triumph of surgery… Till the end, Mrs. Pumphrey believed that surgery had been very effective in bringing back Tricki from the brink of death. He was so miserable, when he left for the surgery. She ascribed his miraculous reco very to the efficacy of surgery.

At the surgery, Tricki found himself in the company of other dogs, but was too weak to show any reaction. The usual playfulness of a dog had deserted him. Mr. Herriot had Tricki put on only water diet for two or three days. Happily for Mr. Herriot, he began to show some interest in food, and began to eat, though modestly. With each passing day, Tricki got better and better. He relished his food, and started to show his jovial self to other companions. It jumped, fought, chased and ran just as it used to do before putting on weight.
Mr. Herriot was immensely relieved at Tricki’s quick and painless recovery. He asked Mrs. Pumphrey to come to the surgery to escort Tricki back home. She was overwhelmed with joy on seeing a fit and playful Tricki jumping on to her and licking her limbs. She concluded that the surgery on Tricki had done wonders. She began to send the same old rich food for Tricki’s quick recovery. She even sent wine, and brandy for him. Mr. Herriot never gave these to Tricki, and consumed the delicacies himself in the company of others.

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