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A Triumph For Surgery - James Herriot

  Footprints Without Feet - Supplementary Reader in English for Class X A Triumph For Surgery - JAMES HERRIOT Glossary, Summary, Questions a...

 Footprints Without Feet - Supplementary Reader in English for Class X

A Triumph For Surgery - JAMES HERRIOT

Glossary, Summary, Questions and Answers.


Tricki, a small dog, is pampered and overfed by his rich mistress. He falls seriously ill and his mistress consults a veterinary surgeon. Does he perform an operation? Does the dog recover?

Glossary -

1. Triumph - victory.

2. Bloated - heavy tummy.

3. Sausage - finely minced meat.

4. Rheumy - a watery discharge from the nose or eyes.

5. Listless - lacking energy and enthusiasm.

6. Relent - pity.

7. Lumbago - muscular pain in the lower back.

8. Wrung - twist.

9. Tweed - woolen.

10. Tottering - trembling.

11. Distraught - worried.

12. Bouts - frequent.

13. Swooned - excited.

14. Wailings - cry.

15. Roused - alert.

16. Surged - gathered.

17. Whimper - to bark.

18. Trotted - proceed.

19. Engulfed - 

20. Greyhound - type or a breed of a dog.

21. Jostling - push.

22. Scrimmages - battle.

23. Tramped and squashed - to crush or squeeze.

24. Hovered - to walk.

25. Convalescing - to heal, and recover from illness.

26. Reverently - satisfactorily.

27. Chauffeur - a person who drives the car.

28. Lithe - flexible.

29. Bounds - running and leaping.

30. Startled - surprised.

31. Swarmed - to move.

Summary - This story revolves around the healing of a dog named, "Tricki" who became like a bloated sausage and fatty because of overfeeding and the overprotective nature of his mistress Mrs. Pumphrey, and how a veterinary surgeon and the narrator cure him without giving him any medicine, but just controlling his unnecessary diet, and allows the Tricki to mix up with the other dogs of the hospital naturally and playfully. 

READ AND FIND OUT - (page no. 1)

1. Why is Mrs Pumphrey worried about Tricki?

Ans - Mrs. Pumphrey was worried about Tricki because he was not eating well, even refusing his favorite dishes, and looking like a bloated sausage, too fatty, became restless and seemed to have no energy.

2. What does she do to help him? Is she wise in this?

Ans - To help Tricki, she calls the doctor, and the doctor suggests hospitalizing him, it was her wise decision, and the doctor cured him completely, so she is wise in this.

3. Who does 'I' refer to in this story?

Ans - ' I' refers to Mr. Herriot, the story's veterinary surgeon, narrator, and writer.

READ AND FIND OUT - (page no. 3)

1. Is the narrator as rich as Tricki's mistress?

Ans - No, not at all, Mrs. Pumphrey seems to be far richer than the narrator.

2. How does he treat the dog?

Ans - First Dr. Herriot observes Tricks's problem, and he comes to know that Tricki was over-pampered and overfed. He keeps the dog under his strict observation. He neither gives him food nor any medicine, he just controls his diet and gives only water, and when he realizes that the dog needs food, he makes him run to eat the food along with the other dogs. By proper fasting therapy, the dog slowly becomes active and cured.

3. Why is he tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest?

Ans - He is tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest because, in the period of hospitalization of Tricki, Mrs.Pumphrey used to send all the delicious food like drinks, fresh eggs, and wine for the dog, and he enjoyed all the food of Tricki.

4. Why does Mrs Pumphrey think the dog's recovery is " a triumph of surgery"?

Ans - Mrs. Pumphhrey thinks so because when Tricki becomes restless and leaves his food, she becomes worried, actually, she shares a great emotional bond with Tricki, and out of love she tries to feed him more than enough, but on the contrary, Mr. Herrioot does opposite to that, he strictly controls the diet of Tricki and heals him, and when she reaches to the hospital to collect him and finds him completely cured, she feels very happy, and says that" It is a triumph of surgery".

Think about it -

1. What kind of a person do you think the narrator, a veterinary surgeon, is? Is he tactful as well as full of common sense?

Ans - Yes, certainly, I can say that he is a great, sensible, and tactful doctor because he completely cures the dog without any kind of medicine, he just observes the dog very carefully and simply controls his diet and lets the Tricki learn the natural way of living with the other dogs. So, I can say that he is a great doctor.

2. Do you think Tricki was happy to go home? What do you think will happen now?

Ans - Yes, I can say this because Tricki was very eager to go home after 15 days of natural treatment, and it can be observed from his behaviour with Mrs. Pumphrey when she reaches the hospital, but again she may make the same mistake to overfeed him out of a great attachment.

3. Do you think this is a real-life episode or mere fiction? or is it a mixture of both?

Ans - Actually the story seems to be a real story because in our daily life, we come across people like Mrs. Pumphrey who treat their pets in a pampered manner, but at the same time feed the dog with wine and extraordinarily delicious food appears to be fiction, so I can say that it may be a mixture of both.

Talk about it -

1. 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 - Not exactly, I can not say that such rich people are silly, but many times they do not learn from their mistakes. They simply do not bother about the consequences of their actions, even in the case of small children many mothers make the same mistake, without bothering about the fact that a small child may not be able to digest the food that is being fed to him.

2. Do you think there are parents like Mrs Pumphrey?

Ans - Yes, there are parents like Mrs. Pumphrey in society, they just take more than enough care of their children and do not teach them what is right and wrong for them, good parents are those who should appreciate the good deeds of their kids but at the same time a good advice or little bit scolding is necessary for the wrongdoings because overprotective nature of the parents may spoil the child.

3. What would you have done if you were; 1) a staff member in Mrs Pumphery's household, 2) a neighbour? What would your life have been like, in general?

Ans -1) If I were a staff member in Mrs. Pumphrey's household, I would have suggested not overfeeding Tricki.

2) If I were a neighbour of Mrs. Pumphrey, I would have suggested not to overpamper Tricki.

4. What would you have done if you were in the narrator's place?

Ans - If I were in the narrator's place, I would have given the same treatment as given by him, because that was the best possible way to cure Tricki.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.           - JOHN F KENNEDY 

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