A Triumph of Surgery
A Triumph of Surgery
A Triumph of Surgery Summary
‘A Triumph of Surgery’ Introduction
- James Herriot was a British veterinarian and author bom on October 3, 1916, in Sunderland, England.
- He attended veterinary college in 1933 and worked as a well- respected veterinarian for many decades.
- Herriot’s first book If Only They Could Talk was published in 1970 followed by It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet.
- In the U.S., these books were published under the title A// Creatures Great and Small in 1972. Two films and a television show were based on this book.
- Herriot died on February 23, 1995, in Yorkshire, England.
Gist of the Story
Mrs Pumphrey, a rich and emotional lady had a cute pet called Tricki. She loved him very much and took proper care of the pet. Tricki had put on a lot of weight which made him lethargic. When doctor Herriot saw the fat dog like a bloated sausage he was shocked. He told Mrs. Pumphrey that Tricki needed treatment for an ailment which was possible only in the hospital. The doctor knew that Mrs. Pumphrey would not be able to keep the dog on a proper diet. When the greedy dog went to the hospital he had to remain hungry. He was given food at fixed intervals. Soon he shed off a lot of his body weight and became quite active.
When Tricki was at home he was pampered by Mrs. Pumphrey. He had a luxurious life when he was served with cream cake, chocolate and horlicks. But when he came to the doctor he became all right. When Mrs. Pumphrey saw her dog fit and active, she thanked the doctor and felt that it was a triumph of surgery.
‘A Triumph of Surgery’ Summary
Brief Introduction of Tricki: Tricki was a small dog. He was pampered and overfed by his rich mistress. All of a sudden, he fell seriously ill. So, Mrs Pumphrey consulted a veterinary surgeon. James Herriot got anxious: James Herriot, a veterinary surgeon was too anxious to see Tricki. Tricki had become very fat. His eyes were red and rheumy. His tongue lolled from his jaws.
Mrs Pumphrey thought that the dog was suffering from malnutrition. So, she gave him malt, cod- liver oil and a bowl of Horlicks daily at night. But it did not work upon him.
Doctor’s advice to Mrs Pumphrey: Dr James Herriot advised Mrs pumphrey to cut down Tricki’s food. He told that Tricki should be given some exercises otherwise he would fall ill.
Tricki fell ill: After a few days, Mrs. Pumphrey called on Dr. Herriot because Tricki fell seriously ill. He had not been eating for the last two days and vomitting at regular intervals. He did not go even for walk. Mrs. Pumphrey was very disturbed. The doctor advised that Tricki should be kept under observation. So, he should be hospitalised for a fortnight.
Tricki admitted to the hospital: Tricki was to admitted to the hospital. Everybody was in distress. At the surgery, the household dogs surged around Tricki. He was lying motionless on the carpet. A bed for him in a warm loose box was made. For two days, he was only given plenty of water but no food. After two days, he started to take some interest in his surroundings and began to whine when he heard the dog in the yard.
Tremendous progress in Tricki: After two days, there was tremendous progress in Tricki. He was not given any kind of medical treatment. He started running behind other dogs and became an accepted member of the gang. Each time Mrs Pumphrey was eager to know about his health. The doctor intimated her that Tricki was recovering rapidly. She was very much happy. After this, she started to bring round fresh eggs, bottles of wine to improve his health.
Tricki handed over to Mrs Pumphrey: After getting cured, the doctor phoned her to tell that Tricki had recovered well and was awaiting collection. Tricki was handed over to her. It was really an unbelievable moment for her.
Thankful to the doctor: Mrs Pumphrey was very much thankful to Dr Herriot. She had no words to express her gratitude. Now, Tricki had become a hard-muscled animal. Seeing Tricki, tears were in her eyes and her lips trembled. At last, she told that this is a triumph of surgery.
Lesson at a Glance
- Tricki was a very small dog. He was pampered and overfed by his rich mistress.
- The dog fell seriously ill. Mrs Pumphrey consulted a veterinary surgeon for her illness.
- Dr Herriot, the veterinary surgeon had been very upset to see the dog, Tricki.
- The dog was very fat, bloodshot and rheumy.
- Mrs Pumphrey thought that the dog lacks energy due to malnutrition. So, he was given some little extras like malt, cod-liver oil and a bowl of Horlicks.
- Tricki never refused anything to eat. He was always ready to take a meal at any hour of the day or night.
- But now Tricki had not been eating anything for the last few days. He had bouts of vomiting.
- The surgeon advised Mrs Pumphrey to cut his food down and give him more exercise.
- But Tricki lay down panting and didn’t go for walks.
- Dr Herriot advised Mrs Pumphrey for the hospitalisation of Tricki for a fortnight to be kept under supervision.
- Tricki was wrapped in a blanket and the entire staff were busy in bringing things for him.
- At the surgery, the household dogs gathered around him and thought that he was an uninteresting object and ignored him.
- For two days, Tricki was not given food but only plenty of water.
- After two days, Tricki started showing some interest in his surroundings and began to whimper when he heard the dogs in the yard.
- Next day, the doctor was very happy to see Tricki jostling his way to food bowl.
- There was much progress in Tricki. He was not given medical treatment of any kind and ran about with the dogs throughout the day.
- The doctor told her that Tricki was recovering rapidly.
- After hearing this news, Mrs Pumphrey started arranging different kinds of food, wine, etc. Later on, the doctor went to handover the dog to Mrs. Pumphrey. It was really an amazing moment for her.
- Mrs Pumphrey had no words to express her gratitude to Dr Herriot.
- She told the doctor that it was really a triumph of surgery.
English A Triumph of Surgery Important Questions and Answers
Very Short Answer Type Questions
Was Mrs Pumphrey a rich lady? How?
Yes, Mrs Pumphrey was a rich lady. She had many servants and maids. She also had a pet, named Tricki and had a separate room for him, which had a separate wardrobe for her pet. She used to feed him a lot of dishes, sweets and snacks. All these traits show that she was a wealthy lady.
Why was the staff of Mrs Pumphery at work when Tricki was going to the hospital?
Tricki was Mrs Pumphrey’s beloved pet and if he was going to the hospital, then the entire staff
had to work. His wardrobe, favourite cushions, toys, food bowls were being loaded into Mr Herriot’s car by them. Mrs Pumphrey did not want her pet to live uncomfortably in any way.
What made Mrs Pumphrey call the vet?
Tricki’s condition made Mrs Pumphrey call the vet for help. Tricki had become fat and lazy. He just used to lie on his rug and pant. He also refused to eat food, even his favourite dishes. His bouts of vomiting added to Mrs Pumphrey’s worry. That is why she called James Herriot.
Was Tricki suffering from any ailment in reality? If not, then what made him inactive and lethargic?
No, Tricki was not suffering from any ailment. It was his greed for food and the love of his mistress that spoilt his health to such an extent. He was being overfed everyday and that made him obese and lethargic. That is why his health showed rapid improvement when his diet was controlled.
Briefly describe Herriot’s days of content.
The time of Tricki’s stay at the hospital was a period of content for Herriot. He used to enjoy the treat that arrived in the name of Tricki, as he could not afford all this for himself. Herriot used to relish the fresh eggs in breakfast, wine before and during lunch and brandy in the night.
Short Answer Type Questions
What type of man was Dr Herriot in your opinion?
Dr Herriot was a very noble, generous and practical man. When he saw Tricki, he advised Mrs Pumphrey to curtail his food and enhance the quantity of water. After getting ill, Herriot advised that Tricki should be hospitalised and kept under his supervision for a fortnight. He took proper care of Tricki and cured him within two days. This way, he was a good natured man.
How was Dr Herriot sure about the hospitalisation of Tricki?
Tricki was moving in the house unsteadily and he was not eating anything, not even his favourite food. He was having many bouts of vomiting. Observing these symptoms, Dr Herriot was sure that if his food was not cut down and exercise was not included in his routine, he would become really sick soon.
What made James Herriot expect a call from Mrs Pumphrey? [CBSE 2015]
James Herriot’s encounter with Mrs Pumphrey and Tricki made him expect a call for help.
He was sure that the extra diet and no physical activity would soon put Tricki’s health in danger. And just as anticipated, Mrs Pumphrey called the vet a few days afterwards.
What ‘extra’ did Mrs Pumphrey start to give Tricki and why?
Mrs Pumphrey thought that Tricki was suffering from malnutrition, as he was weak and listless. So, she started to give him extra snacks like cod-liver oil and malt between the main meals and Horlicks after dinner to make him stronger. She also continued his cream cakes and chocolates.
How can you say that it was hard for Mrs Pumphrey to part with her doting pet?
Mrs Pumphrey treated Tricki as her own child. She loved him very much. It was very
difficult for her to see Tricki in such a situation. She was distraught when she had to make the decision to hospitalise Tricki, for her love for him knew no bounds. It was a terrible and tearful moment for her but she agreed to Herriot’s suggestion for the betterment of her pet.
What kind of treatment was given to Tricki? Did it help in his recovery?
Tricki was given a non-medicinal treatment. His diet regimen was altered depending upon his body’s response to it. He was kept on liquid diet for the first two days and then his diet was gradually increased. Yes, this treatment did help Tricki as it built up energy in him. He had transformed into an energetic, hard-muscled dog in just a fortnight.
Do you think Tricki was enjoying his stay at the hospital?
Yes, Tricki was definitely enjoying his stay at the hospital. He had befriended the gang of shaggy household dogs. He had found a new joy in being bowled over, tramped on and squashed. He had also become very energetic. He used to play and run all day long with the dogs. He was having a great time.
Essay Type Questions
Why did Mrs Pumphrey say, “This is a triumph of surgery”? Elaborate it with reference to the lesson.
Mrs Pumphrey loved her dog, Tricki very much. He got seriously ill. He did not even eat anything and vomitted at frequent intervals. So, Mrs Pumphrey was very much worried. She called the veterinary surgeon, Dr Herriot. He took Tricki to his surgery and did not give food for two days. He was given only lots of water and exercises. He was now completely changed into a lithe and hard-muscled dog. Now Tricki was completely cured. Seeing Tricki cured, Mrs Pumphrey became emotional and expressed gratitude to Dr Herriot saying that “This is a triumph of surgery’.’
Excess of everything is bad. Comment in the wake of Mrs Pumphrey’s love for Tricki.
Mrs Pumphrey was a rich woman who loved her dog very much. She loved to live a
comfortable and lavish life and also wanted her dog to spend a similar one. She had maintained a wardrobe full of fancy fur coats, dresses, beds, etc. for Tricki. Apart from this, she used to overfeed Tricki out of her love and concern. She used to serve him cod-liver oil and malt between the main meals and Horlicks after dinner to give him strength. She never realised that Tricki was a greedy dog and this would spoil his health. She could not even refuse to answer Tricki drooling for cream cakes and chocolates. Her overfeeding worsened Tricki’s condition. This made the dog lazy, inactive and obese. He used to lie on his rug and pant all day long. Mrs Pumphrey fed him excessively, spoiling Tricki’s health to such an extent that he had to be hospitalised. Even in the hospital she continued to convey Tricki her love through eggs, wine and brandy. Her fondness and care for Tricki proved that excess of everything made him fall sick.
Pen down incidences in support of values one should inculcate from Mr James Herriot.
Mr Herriot was a capable veterinary surgeon who treated Tricki. He was a very compassionate doctor and a wise and sympathetic human being. He showed his capabilities almost immediately when he advised Mrs Pumphrey to put Tricki on a strict diet after understanding his symptoms. He can also be said to be an understanding and tactful person as he knew exactly how to free Tricki from the spoiling love of Mrs Pumphrey for his betterment. He does not operate upon the poor dog unnecessarily and adopts a practical approach to treat him. Mr James Herriot was a caring and polite individual as he successfully allays Mrs Pumphrey’s anxiety about Tricki’s recovery patiently. He was in all a good human being and a successful professional.
Do you think parents like Mrs Pumphrey exist? If yes, is it a good thing to pamper children? Why or why not?
Yes, parents like Mrs Pumphrey definitely exist. These people spoil their children by making sure all their demands are met. They spoil their children in the name of love and care. They not only feed them junk food but also spoil their social habits. This kind of a behaviour is very harmful for children. Such overprotective parental behaviour hinders their growth as adults. In fact, it sows the seeds of greed and dependency in them. They become stubborn and do not learn to value anything. For them, hard work is a myth as they get everything easily. Over pampered children often fail to face the hardships of life later, as for them life has been a cakewalk. Pampering children in moderation is healthy, but excess of it is harmful. It is not just bad for humans but also for animals, as we see in the story ‘A Triumph of Surgery’.
English A Triumph of Surgery Textbook Questions and Answers
Think about It
Read and Find Out (Page -1)
1. Why is Mrs Pumphrey worried about Tricki?
Mrs Pumphrey was worried and distraught because Tricki would not eat anything. It even refused its favourite dishes. It had bouts of vomiting. It spent all its time lying on the rug and panting. It did not want to go for walks or do anything.
2. What does she do to help him? Is she wise in this?
She called the doctor to help Tricki. Yes, her decision was wise. The doctor suggested that Tricki should be hospitalised. She swooned and wailed, but let the dog go with the doctor. Ultimately, the doctor was successful in curing Tricki.
3. Who does ‘I’ refer to in this story?
In this story, ‘I’ refers to the veterinary surgeon, Mr Herriot.
Read and Find Out (Page – 3)
1. Is the narrator as rich as Tricki’s mistress?
Though not clearly stated, there are instances in the story which suggest that the narrator is not as rich as Tricki’s mistress, Mrs Pumphrey.
While the narrator is able to provide Tricki with a warm loose box as a bed, at Mrs Pumphrey’s house, Tricki has a day bed, a night bed, cushions, toys, rubber rings, a breakfast bowl, a lunch bowl, a supper bowl, a whole wardrobe of tweed coats and perhaps many more things. The reference of ‘happy period’ when the narrator and his partner had two eggs for breakfast and calling the lunch a ‘ceremonial occasion’ with two glasses of wine shows that the narrator had an ordinary lifestyle which was not as rich and luxurious as that of Mrs Pumphrey.
2. How does he treat the dog?
The doctor gave Tricki no food, but plenty of water for two days. Slowly, the dog started showing interest in his surroundings and began mixing with the other dogs at the surgery. On the third day, the doctor saw Tricki licking the empty supper bowls of the other dogs. Next day, a separate bowl was kept for it and the doctor was pleased to note that Tricki had run to eat its food with enthusiasm. From that day onwards, its progress was rapid. It did not require medicinal treatment of any kind and recovered quite well at the end.
3. Why is he tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest?
Mrs Pumphrey had started bringing around eggs to make Tricki more energetic. Later, even bottles of wine and brandy began to arrive. The narrator and his partners started enjoying the eggs, wine and brandy meant for Tricki. According to the narrator, they were days of deep content for them – starting with the extra egg in the morning, then the midday wine, and finally finishing the day with brandy. This was the reason why the narrator was tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest.
4. Why does Mrs Pumphrey think the dog’s recovery is “a triumph of surgery”?
Mrs Pumphrey thought that the dog’s recovery was “a triumph of surgery” because in two weeks, Tricki had recovered completely and had been transformed into a hard-muscled animal. When Tricki saw her, it leaped into her lap and licked her face. She was so excited that tears started rolling out of her eyes. She declared Tricki’s recovery as a triumph of surgery to express her happiness and gratitude towards the doctor.
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?
The narrator is lull of common sense. He was very concerned for Tricki when he saw its appearance. He immediately told Mrs Pumphrey to stop giving it food and sweets, and to take it out for daily walks. When she called him to describe Tricki’s deteriorating condition, he immediately took the dog with him to the surgery. He took good care of it all the while and helped it recover completely.
He could be called tactful as he enjoyed the eggs, wine and brandy that Mrs Pumphrey had brought for the dog. He was even tempted to keep Tricki as a permanent guest in order to continue enjoying these luxuries. However, he was a good man. Thus, he called Mrs Pumphrey and told her to take the dog home when it had fully recovered.
2. Do you think Tricki was happy to go home? What do you think will happen now?
Yes, Tricki was very happy to go home. He jumped out of the narrator’s arms and leaped into
Mrs Pumphrey’s lap as soon as he saw her. Tricki licked her and barked. After this, if Mrs Pumphrey takes good care of the dog and does not feed him a lot, he will be as healthy as he is at the end of the story.
3. Do you think this is a real-life episode, or mere fiction? Or is it a mixture of both?
This story could be a mixture of both: real-life episode and a mere fiction. The spoiling of
the dog’s health by a rich mistress is believable and could also be a real life incident. The doctor’s advice also depicts real life situation. However, the extremely speedy recovery of the dog could be fictitious. Also, the enjoyment of the luxuries (eggs, wine and brandy) by the narrator could be termed as a real life episode as there are people who would do so. The giving up of these luxuries because the owner of the dog would be getting worried is another episode that could be both real life and fiction. At the end, the happiness of Mrs Pumphrey on seeing her dog healthy seems to be a real life happening. Therefore, the story is a mixture of both real-life and 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?
The actions of Mrs Pumphrey in this episode show that she was not able to relate the ramifications to her actions. She was in the delusion that feeding her dog and pampering him all the time will satisfy her conscience, whereas in reality her out of love actions were making her dog vulnerable to health issues. It was indeed silly of her that even after Mr Herriot’s advice she didn’t act wisely.
Ultimately, her actions harmed the dog by making him sedentary which made the dog nongregarious.
2. Do you think there are also parents like Mrs Pumphrey?
Yes, there are parents like Mrs Pumphrey who pamper their kids to such an extent that their overprotective nature starts to cause trouble for their children as they grow. They lack self-confidence and are emotionally weak.
3. 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?
(i) If I were have played a member of the staff in Mrs Pumphrey’s household, I would with Tricki ruggedly, daily in the evening. I would have added some activities in his routine like mountain trekking once in a week, trained him life saving tactics, to keep his health in check.
My life would have been like of a personal dog trainer then.
(ii) If I were a neighbour of Mrs Pumphrey, I would have asked her to take Tricki along with me for a morning run daily. As a neighbour, I would have played with him and helped Mrs Pumphrey in her dog caring.
My life would have been like a friend of Mrs Pumphrey.
4. What would you have done if you were in the narrator’s place?
If I were in the narrator’s place, I would have done the same as he did, except one thing. When Mrs Pumphrey sent the eggs, brandy and wine for the speedy-recovery of Tricki, I would have denied her to send anything and returned the delivered items.
Moreover, while returning Tricki to her, I would have told her the reality of her dog’s condition and the way he was treated. I would have strongly and explicitly advised her not to spoil the dog with the food for which he was not made to eat regularly.