Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, extras, mcqs, pdf of the chapter (prose) A Triumph of Surgery by James Herriot for SEBA, (Assam Board) and TBSE (Tripura Board) Class 10 English (Second Language) from the book First Flight. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
A Triumph of Surgery is about Tricki, a small dog who was always lavished with tasty and unhealthy treats by his rich mistress, Mrs Pumphrey, several times a day. She would overfeed her pet out of love. Tricki gradually gained weight and became sedentary. Due to his bloated frame, he rarely exercised or went for a walk. He grew bulky over time, and Mrs Pumphrey became concerned about his lack of movement. She soon consulted Mr James Herriot, a veterinary surgeon, for help with her sluggish dog.
Mr Herriot was taken aback by Tricki’s condition and rushed him to the hospital. Mrs Pumphrey’s overindulgence would never allow her pet dog to live a healthy lifestyle, he knew. He brought the dog with him and placed him in a hospital bed. For the first two days, the dog did not move and ate nothing. Tricki went outside on the third day and played with the other larger dogs in the hospital. He ate the food that was given to him and licked the bowls of other dogs for any leftovers.
Tricki was given a well-balanced diet as well as plenty of physical activity by Mr Herriot. Tricki’s condition gradually improved, and he began fighting with other dogs for food. Mrs Pumphrey, his mistress, would send eggs to ensure that her pet did not go hungry and had enough energy to recover from the treatment. However, James Herriot and his colleagues ate the eggs every day for breakfast. Mrs Pumphrey also sent Tricki bottles of wine to help improve his blood condition. Mr Herriot and his associates, however, devoured them once more. He felt bad about eating the food that Mrs Pumphrey had sent for Tricki. As the little dog began to improve, the vet decided to contact the wealthy lady, who was concerned about her pet’s condition.
Tricki was overjoyed when she arrived at the hospital to retrieve her pet and jumped on her. Mrs Pumphrey was overjoyed that Mr Herriot had cured her dog and felt she couldn’t thank him enough for the miracle he had performed on her pet. She considered this to be a surgical triumph. The storey implies that parents should not be overly indulgent in order to protect their children.
Textual questions and answers
1. Why is Mrs Pamphrey worried about Tricki?
Answer: Mrs Pamphrey is concerned about Tricki because it has grown very fat and resembles a bloated sausage. Its eyes are bloodshot and rheumy. Its tongue is drooping.
2. What does she do to help him? Is she wise in this?
Answer: To assist him, she provides him with more nutritious food. She is not wise in this regard.
3. Who does ‘I’ refer to in the story?
Answer: The veterinary surgeon, James Herriot, is referred to as ‘I’ in the story A Triumph of Surgery.
4. Is the narrator as rich as Tricki’s mistress?
Answer: No, the narrator does not have the same riches as Tricki’s mistress.
5. How does he treat the dog?
Answer: He drives the dog to the vet’s office. He does not give the dog medicine, but he does control its diet and gives it plenty of opportunities to play with other dogs.
6. Why is he tempted to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest?
Answer: Due to the delicious food and wine he is enjoying in Trick’s honour, Mr Herriot is tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest. He doesn’t want to miss out on the abundant supply of fresh eggs, wine, and brandy.
7. Why does Mrs Pamphrey think the dog’s recovery is ‘a triumph of surgery’?
Answer: Mrs Pumphrey considered the dog’s recovery to be a “surgery triumph,” because Tricki had rebounded completely and had been transitioned into a hard-muscled animal in just two weeks. Tricki jumped into her lap and licked her face when it saw her.
Think about it
1. 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?
Answer: The narrator appears to be a practical individual with a lot of common sense. He is also helpful to others. The fact that he treats Tricki without using a single medicine demonstrates his common sense. Furthermore, the way he shares the eggs, wines, and brandy sent by Mrs Pumphrey with his staff reveals his practical mindset.
2. Do you think Tricki was happy to go home? What do you think will happen now?
Answer: Tricki’s jumping in its owner’s lap and affectionate behaviour toward the owner indicate that Tricki is excited to return home.
Now, Mrs Punphrey will either change her ways and make Tricki a more agile and healthy dog, or she will revert to her old ways of spoiling Tricki’s habits.
3. Do you think this is a real-life episode or mere fiction? Or is it a mixture of both?
Answer: I believe the story A Triumph of Surgery is a true story. It is not a work of fiction. However, it has the feel of fiction.
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?
Answer: These people have money but no place to spend it. They most likely do not instil a hobby. They are easily bored, so they engage in frivolous behaviour. Some parents lavish too much attention on their children, buying them more toys than they require and overfeeding them. These actions are more harmful than beneficial to the object of affection.
2. Do you think there are also parents like Mrs Pamphrey?
Answer: Yes, there are parents who are overly protective of their children. Overindulgence can be perceived positively or negatively. There are examples of parents spoiling their children by meeting all of their child’s demands. There are also examples of strict parents who place undue pressure on their child’s academic performance and behaviour.
3. What would you have done if you were: (i) a member of the staff in Mrs Pamphrey’s household, (ii) a neighbour? What would your life have been like, in general?
Answer: If I were on Mrs Pamphrey’s staff, I would politely advise her to reduce Tricki’s food intake and arrange for the dog’s exercise. However, if I were her neighbour, I would strongly advise her not to feed the dog excessively nutritious food. My life would have been fine if I had acted rationally.
4. What would you have done if you were in the narrator’s place?
Answer: If I had been in the narrator’s shoes, I would have done exactly what he did. He did not take advantage of Mrs Pamphrey. He simply ate a portion of Tricki’s food that would be harmful to the dog.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions of A Triumph of Surgery
1. What caused Tricki’s illness? What exactly did Mrs Pumphrey do?
Answer: Mrs Pumphrey’s pet dog was Tricki. Mrs Pumphrey adored it and thus ruined it. Mrs Pumphrey, in fact, was to blame for Tricki’s illness. She thought Tricki was boring and that he needed more nutrition. As a result, she fed the dog more nutritious food. However, she did not provide him with adequate exercise. As a result of this, the dog became ill. It vomited several times and began to lie down all day. Mrs Pumphrey then summoned Mr Herriot, the veterinary surgeon. The dog was immediately taken to the surgeon’s surgery for treatment.
2. Explain briefly how Mr Herriot cured Tricki.
Answer: Tricki was treated by Dr Herriot without the use of medication or surgery. He could see the dog’s predicament. As a result, he did not give him medicine. He kept a close eye on the dog for two days. He didn’t give it any food, but he did give it plenty of water. After two days, the dog began to show an interest in its surroundings. The dog started playing with other dogs. Mr Herriot provided it with food. In addition, an extra egg and brandy were provided. Playing with other dogs had a positive impact. Tricki soon recovered and was fine.
3. Why did Mrs Pumphrey treat Tricki like that?
Answer: Mrs Pumphrey was a wealthy woman. She lived on her own. She had a dog as a pet. Tricki, her only companion, was a dog. As a result, she lavished the dog with her undivided attention. She treated it as if it were a human being, just like her son. She made opulent preparations for Tricki. She fed it eggs, malt, cod liver oil, and Horlicks. She set up Tricki’s day bed, night bed, cushions, toys, and rubber rings.
4. Why was Dr Herriot taken aback by Tricki’s appearance?
Answer: Tricki’s appearance astounded Dr Herriot because he had gained a lot of weight. His eyes were bloodshot and swollen, and his tongue dangling from his jaws. He was walking with difficulty.
5. What was Mrs Pumphrey’s reaction when Dr Herriot suggested Tricki be admitted to the hospital?
Answer: Dr Herriot had planned ahead of time. So, when Mrs Pumphrey informed him of Tricki’s illness, he immediately suggested that he be hospitalised for about a fortnight to be monitored.
6. Which two suggestions did Dr Herriot give to Mrs Pumphrey at the initial stage? Did she follow?
Answer: Dr Herriot suggested Mrs Pumphrey cut down on the sweet things given to Tricki. He asked her to provide more exercise to the dog.
7. What did Mrs Pumphrey do to restore him to health? Was she a success?
Answer: When Mrs Pumphrey noticed Tricki was weak, she began supplementing his diet between meals in order to strengthen him. She gave him some malt, cod liver oil, and Horlicks at night. She was always giving him cream cakes and chocolates, which Tricki adored. She also caused more problems for her dog. He began to gain weight, which exacerbated his condition.
8. Write a character sketch of Mrs Pumphrey.
Answer: Mrs Pumphrey was a wealthy woman with an eccentric personality. She was the type of person who didn’t know what she didn’t know. She had a pet dog named Tricki, whom she adored above everything else. Her method of expressing love was quite unique. Tricki had been overfed by her. She expressed her concern by feeding him a rich and extra diet in between meals, which caused Tricki to become ill. She couldn’t stand Tricki exercising. She assumed it would exhaust Tricki, despite the fact that it was necessary for him.
She lavished attention on her pet, who had a wardrobe of clothing for each season, different bowls for each meal, toys, and other luxuries. Her way of loving was out of the ordinary. But she was also a sweet woman who cried when she had to say goodbye to her dog. She possessed all human qualities, as she remembered to thank Mr Herriot at the conclusion.
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