Important Question and Answers
Q. Why did the author’s grandfather decide to buy Toto?
Ans. The author’s grandfather was an animal lover and took pity on Toto as it was kept tied to a feeding trough. Toto looked out of place and he decided to bring it to his private zoo. He was much impressed by Toto.
Q. Where was Toto kept immediately after grandfather got him? Why?
Ans. Toto was kept in a closet. He was tied securely to a peg because his presence was to be kept a secret from the writer’s grandmother as she abhorred animals.
Q. In what sense was Toto ‘a pretty monkey’.
Ans. Toto’s bright eyes sparkled with mischief beneath deep-set eye brows. His pearly white teeth often displayed a smile that had the innocence of a child yet, there was an underlined tinge of naughtiness and mischievousness.
Q. Who had a third hand? Why was it considered a hand?
Ans. Toto had a third hand. Grandfather considered Toto’s tail as his third hand because he could use it to hang from a branch; and it was capable of scooping up any delicacy that might be out of reach of his hands.
Q. Why did grandfather hide Toto for some time when he brought him home?
Ans. Grandmother was not very fond of animals. When he used to bring a new animal or bird, she used to make a lot of fuss. To avoid this, grandfather hid Toto for some time and announced his arrival to her when she was in a good mood.
Q. Give the names of Grandfather’s pets. Where did they live?
Ans. The names of grandfather’s pets were Nana the donkey and Toto the monkey, a tortoise, a pair of rabbits, a tame squirrel and a goat. They lived in a big cage in the servant’s quarter.
Q. Where and why was grandfather going the next day?
Ans. Grandfather was going to Saharanpur the next day. He was going there to collect his pension.
Q. Why did grandfather decide to take Toto along with him to Dehra Dun?
Ans. Grandfather decided to take Toto along with him to Dehra Dun as there were many other pets also that lived there. But, Toto would not allow any of his companions to sleep at night. So, he made this decision.
Q. Why grandfather had to pay for Toto at Dehra Dun Railway Station? Which animal did grandfather travel with without paying for its ticket ?
Ans. Grandfather had to pay for Toto at Dehra Dun Railway Station because the ticket collector categorised him as a dog. Grandfather travelled with his pet tortoise without paying for its ticket.
Q. How does Toto become a problem to grandfather while going to Saharanpur?
Ans. While going to Saharanpur, Toto behaved well. When grandfather was producing his ticket, Toto suddenly poked his head out of the bag. He gave the ticket collector a wide grin. The ticket collector insisted that grandfather must buy the ticket for the pet. Thus, the monkey proved to be a big problem for grandfather.
Q. Who was Toto’s companion in the stable? Why did the two never become friends?
Ans. Nana, the family donkey was Toto’s companion in the stable. The two never became friends because Nana was not friendly with Toto. When grandfather paid visit to the stable, he found Nana pulling at Toto’s halter and trying to keep her head as far as possible from a bundle of hay.
Q. Who was Nana? How did Toto tease Nana?
Ans. Nana was the family donkey. Toto was kept in the stable with Nana, where Toto used to tease Nana by fast biting on to her long ears with his sharp little teeth. Even Nana got fed up with Toto.
Q. Why could Toto and Nana not become friends?
Ans. Toto was very naughty and wicked and could not stay still for a long time. Nana was a well behaved and docile animal. When they were together, Toto bit on the long ears of Nana and Nana got annoyed with Toto. Thus, Nana and Toto could not become friends.
Q. How did Toto’s love for taking bathe almost led to his being half – boiled?
Ans. Toto used to love taking bath in hot water. Once, when a kettle was kept on fire with water to boil for tea, Toto sat in it. When the water began to boil, Toto tried getting up but found outside cold. So, he again sat down. He kept on hopping outside and then again inside and after sometime he started enjoying this game.
Q. Why did grandfather give away Toto, the monkey?
Ans. Toto was very naughty and he troubled everyone. The other pets were not happy with him and he broke a lot of dishes, tore clothes, curtains and wallpapers. He had become very difficult to handle and so grandfather gave Toto away.
Q. Why does the author say, “Toto was not the sort of pet we could keep for long”?
Ans. Toto was indeed a very mischievous pet. He tore the wallpapers of the rooms, and also tore the narrator’s school blazer. He troubled other fellow animals. He even managed to get himself into trouble by nearly half boiling water in a kettle. He made holes in dresses and curtains. Once, he even scared the ticket checker. He even broke dishes in the house. He proved to be a big troublemaker for everyone. Thus, we can say that Toto was a mischievous pet.
Q. Why was Toto not the kind of pets which could be kept at home for long?
Ans. Toto was a pretty and entertaining pet but not the kind of pets which could be kept at home for long. By nature, he was mischievous and more importantly, destructive. The first time when he was kept in a little closet opening into the author’s bedroom wall and tied securely, he not only peeled off the ornamental paper from the wall but also reduced the author’s blazer into shreds. He was always tearing things to pieces. It caused great embarrassment to the author’s family whenever one of his aunts came near him and he made every effort to get hold of her dress and tear a hole in it. Toto threw a plate when grandmother screamed at him for savouring the pullao. Perching on the jackfruit tree he enjoyed every grain lavishly and threw the dish to spite grandmother. The frequent loss of dishes, clothes, curtains and wallpaper was too much to afford for the author’s not well-to-do family.
Q. According to you, which mischief of Toto was the most notorious? Why ?
Ans. Toto was a master of mischiefs. He could think of a mischief for every occasion or anything that he came across. ‘If there is a part of the brain especially devoted to mischief, that part was largely developed in Toto.’But, I think, Toto’s most notorious mischief was his experiment with the kitchen kettle on fire in which he had nearly succeeded to boil himself alive. Toto, having nothing better to do, removed the lid of the kettle which was on fire to boil for tea. Finding the water warm, Toto got into the kettle keeping his head out. But as the water became hotter and unbearable, Toto tried to come out. He hopped inside again as it was cold outside. Grandmother’s on time hauling him up saved him. Without grandmother’s timely intervention, not only Toto would have died but it could have also led to some mother mishap like fire in the hours. Perhaps, the family would have repented throughout their lives for being less careful.
Q. Describe how Toto took bath in cold winter evenings.
Ans. Taking bath in warm water in cold winter evenings was a great treat for Toto. Grandmother kept warm water in a large bowl. He would cunningly test the temperature with his hand, then gradually step into the bath, first one foot, then the other until he was into the water up to his neck. All these things Toto did like the way grandfather did. Once comfortable, he would take the soap in his hands or feet and rub himself all over. When the water became cold, he would get out and run as quickly as he could to the kitchen-fire in order to dry himself. If anyone laughed at him during this performance, Toto’s feelings would be hurt and he would refuse to go on with his bath.