Q. Why is Mrs Pumphrey worried about Tricki?
Ans. Mrs Pumphrey has a fat dog named Tricki. It becomes listless and seems to have no energy. It falls ill so Mrs Pumphrey gets worried about the dog.
Q What does she do to help him? Is she wise in this?
Ans. She believes that he is suffering from malnutrition. So she starts 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. It is not at all good for the dog’s health.
Q. Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story?
Ans. ‘I’ refers to James Herriot, the writer of the story.
Q. Is the narrator as rich as Tricki’s mistress?
Ans. The narrator is a veterinary surgeon but Tricki’s mistress is an exceptionally rich lady. She has numerous servants. The narrator is not as rich as Tricki’s mistress.
Q. How does he treat the dog?
Ans. He kept an eye on the dog for two days and gave him no food but plenty of water. At the end of the second day the dog started to show some interest in his surroundings and on the third day he began to whimper when he heard the dogs in the yard.
Q. Why is he tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest?
Ans. He is tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest because Mrs Pumphrey starts to bring round fresh eggs, two dozens at a time. She also sends bottles of wine and brandy for Tricki’s health. But that is consumed by Mr Herriot and his colleagues. It is not given to Tricki.
Q. Why does Mrs Pumphrey think the dog’s recovery is ‘‘a triumph of surgery’’?
Ans. She thinks that the dog’s recovery is ‘‘a triumph of surgery’’ because of the dog’s plight. When Tricki is brought to the surgery, he is very ill. But at the end of the story Tricki is full of energy and has no ailment. So she says this.
Q. What kind of a person do you think the narrator, a veterinary surgeon, is? Would you say he is tactful as well as full of common sense?
Ans. Yes, he is tactful as well as full of common sense. Mr Herriot knows this fact that Mrs Pumphrey will not stop over feeding Tricki. For two days he gave him no food but plenty of water. He is given no medical treatment of any kind. He is given limited food but sufficient exercise to be healthy. So, we can say the narrator uses his wisdom to treat Tricki and enriches his own breakfast and lunch.
Q. Do you think Tricki was happy to go home? What do you think will happen now?
Ans. When Tricki saw his mistress, he took off from the chauffeur’s arms in a tremendous leap and sailed into Mrs Pumphrey’s lap. Mrs Pumphrey loves Tricki from the bottom of her heart. She will certainly overfeed him to make him healthy. Consequently, Tricki will have to come to the surgery for treatment.
Q. Do you think this is a real-life episode, or mere fiction? Or is it a mixture of both?
Ans. Everything happens in real-life. It is said that literature is the reflection of society. It implies that the real-life incidents and events are discussed in novels, plays and movies. Those who love pets they become overconscious when the pets fall ill. They start giving extra care and nutritious food. They also consult veterinary surgeons, if required. But sending eggs, bottles of wine and brandy seem fictitious and illogical. Therefore, it can be said that the story is a mixture of reallife episodes and fiction.
Q. This episode describes the silly behaviour of a rich woman who is foolishly indulgent, perhaps because she is lonely. Do you think such people are merely silly, or can their actions cause harm to others?
Ans. Mrs Pumphrey loves Tricki from the bottom of her heart. Loneliness is very dangerous for a human being. Mrs Pumphrey gives Tricki extra food out of compassion and love. She does it because of her passionate feelings. Her act is harmful for Tricki’s health. People like Mrs Pumphrey forget that overfeeding can never be beneficial to anyone.
Q. Do you think there are also parents like Mrs Pumphrey?
Ans. Yes, the world we are living in is full of every kind of parents. Parents who are extra cautious about the diet of their children cause harm to them. They keep feeding them and make them sick. Some parents ignore the doctor’s advice and provide their wards with extra meals. The children suffer because of their parents’ attitude.
Q. What would you have done if you were: (i) a member of the staff in Mrs Pumphrey’s household (ii) a neighbour? What would your life have been like, in general?
Ans. It is said that a person should enjoy every moment of this existence. I would have enjoyed life being a member of the staff in Mrs Pumphrey’s household. I would have requested her to follow the doctor’s advice strictly. So far as the neighbour of Mrs Pumphrey is concerned, she never disturbs their peace of mind. She is concerned only with Tricki’s health.
Q. What would you have done if you were in the narrator’s place?
Ans. The narrator’s decision to keep the dog in the hospital was praiseworthy. There was no other way to improve the dog’s condition. I would have done the same thing that the narrator did.