A Triumph of Surgery Class 10: Important Questions Demystified

Is James Herriot's heartwarming tale, "A Triumph of Surgery" (Chapter 1) from "Footprints Without Feet," giving you a bit of a headache in your CBSE Class 10 English studies? Don't worry, future veterinary champions (or aspiring English aces)! This blog post is here to be your scalpel, dissecting those tricky questions and providing clear, concise answers.

We'll delve into the most important questions surrounding this classic story, ensuring you fully grasp the plot, characters, and themes explored by James Herriot. Plus, we've got a downloadable PDF with all the questions and answers, ready to be your study companion! So, grab a cup of tea (calmer than Mrs. Pumphrey, hopefully!), and let's conquer "A Triumph of Surgery" together!

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Chapter NameA Triumph of Surgery
Chapter No. 1
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Book NameFootprints without Feet

"Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going."

- Sam Levenson

A Triumph of Surgery Class 10 Questions Answers

Q. No. 1) Choose the correct option:

...maids rushed in and out bringing his day bed, his night bed, favorite cushions, toys and rubber rings, breakfast bowl, lunch bowl, supper bowl. Mr. Herriot gives the above description in the story 'A Triumph of Surgery' to show how __________.

a. spoilt and pampered Tricki was

b. difficult it was to keep Tricki healthy

c. privileged and rich Mrs. Pumphrey was

d. important Mrs. Pumphrey was as a client

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 2) The entire staff was roused and maids rushed in and out bringing his day bed, his night bed, favorite cushions, toys, rubber rings, breakfast bowl, lunch bowl, and supper bowl. Realizing that my car would never hold all the stuff, I started to drive away. As I moved off, Mrs. Pumphrey, with a despairing cry, threw an armful of the little coats through the window. I looked in the mirror before I turned the corner of the drive; everybody was in tears. Out on the road, I glanced down at the pathetic little animal gasping on the seat by my side. I patted the head and Tricki made a brave effort to wag his tail. “Poor old lad,” I said. “You haven’t a kick in you but I think I know a cure for you.”

i. What might the atmosphere of the household in the above extract signify?

a. Mrs. Pumphrey’s status in society is reflected in Tricki’s lifestyle.

b. The staff’s love for Tricki, matched that of Mrs. Pumphrey.

c. The grand life of comforts and luxuries that Tricki enjoyed.

d. Mrs. Pumphrey’s indulgence and anxiety were acted upon by the staff.

Ans. Option (d)

ii. Given below are emoticons reflecting various expressions and reactions. Choose the option that correctly describes the narrator’s mindset in the given extract.

a triumph of surgery class 10 important questions answers

a. Options (i) and (iii)

b. Options (ii) and (iv)

c. Options (iii) and (v)

d. Options (ii) and (v)

Ans. Option (b)

iii. Given below are some well-known quotes shared by the staff to console Mrs. Pumphrey, after Tricki’s departure. Choose the option that correctly identifies the quote that IS NOT appropriate to the consolation offered.

a triumph of surgery class 10 important questions and answers

a. Option (i)

b. Option (ii)

c. Option (iii)

d. Option (iv)

Ans. Option (d)

iv. As the extract indicates, Mrs. Pumphrey indulged Tricki and bought him many things.

  1. Choose the option that best describes the kinds of advertisement/s that seem likely to persuade Mrs. Pumphrey to buy something for Tricki.
  2. Statistics Appeal – Such advertisements use facts and data to convince consumers to buy products.
  3. Scarcity Appeal – Such advertisements create a feeling of exclusivity and are often used to convince people to take advantage of a sale or limited-period offer.
  4. Personal Appeal – Such advertisements focus on evoking emotions to convince consumers and often relate to family or other interpersonal interactions.
  5. Fear Appeal – Such advertisements focus on inspiring some kind of fear to convince consumers to take action in order to avoid certain negative or undesirable consequences.

a) Options (1), (2), and (4)

b) Options (3) and (4)

c) Options (1), (3), and (4)

d) Option (2) only

Ans. Option (b)

v. The narrator describes Tricki as a “pathetic little animal”. The use of the word ‘pathetic’ indicates that the narrator

a. was very fond of Tricki.

b. thought Tricki was contemptible.

c. pitied Tricki’s condition.

d. believed Tricki’s health was deteriorating.

Ans. Option (c)

Q. No. 3) He discovered the joys of being bowled over, tramped on, and squashed every few minutes. He became an accepted member of the gang, an unlikely, silky little object among the shaggy crew, fighting like a tiger for his share at mealtimes and hunting rats in the old henhouse at night. He had never had such a time in his life. All the while, Mrs. Pumphrey hovered anxiously in the background, ringing a dozen times a day for the latest bulletins.

i. Read the following statements, each of which describes the gist of the given extract. Select the option that captures the essence of the extract correctly.

  • Statement I – It highlights the kind of comforts and luxuries that Tricki was used to at home.
  • Statement II – It brings out a contrast between Tricki and Mrs. Pumphrey’s state of being.
  • Statement III – It reflects that Tricki was happier at the surgery, and loved being with other dogs.
  • Statement IV – It shows Tricki’s journey with his peers at the surgery and documents his recovery.

a. Statements I and II

b. Statements III and IV

c. Statements I and III

d. Statements II and IV

Ans. Option (d)

ii. What does the reference to Tricki as a “silky little object” signify?

a. Tricki was a very small and rather pampered dog.

b. Tricki was comfortably attired in fine silks and warm coats.

c. Unlike the other dogs, Tricki had lived in the lap of luxury with care and grooming.

d. The narrator’s mockery of Tricki’s life and treatment of Mrs. Pumphrey.

Ans. Option (c)

iii. Why does the narrator describe being “tramped on and squashed” as joys?

a. To suggest the irony of the strange ways of dogs.

b. To mention the simple pleasures of canine life.

c. To compare it to Tricki’s earlier play-time at the house.

d. To direct attention towards Tricki’s successful recovery.

Ans. Option (b)

iv. “All the while, Mrs. Pumphrey hovered anxiously in the background”.

Given below are different types of pet parenting styles described in Country Living, an e-magazine.

Choose the option that best reflects the kind of pet owner Mrs. Pumphrey was.

  1. Traffic Light pet owners have a healthy balance of rules and freedom and give clear and consistent signals for ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
  2. Entranced pet owners have the best intentions, but as soon as their pet locks eyes with them and gives their command, they are at their pet's beck and call.
  3. The Goose pet owners go all-out in protecting their pets. They often limit their time away from their pet, especially puppies.
  4. The Baggage Handler pet owners love being close to their pets and going on adventures together. They are always mindful of the pet's comfort and security.

a. Option (1)

b. Option (2)

c. Option (3)

d. Option (4)

Ans. Option (b)

v. Pick the option that reveals Tricki’s characteristics in the context of ‘fighting like a tiger for his share at mealtimes and hunting rats in the old henhouse at night.’

  1. Selfish
  2. happy
  3. greedy
  4. confident
  5. sturdy
  6. cruel

a. 2, 4 and 5

b. Only 2

c. 1 and 5

d. 3, 4 and 6

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 4) It was a temptation to keep Tricki on as a permanent guest,...

Why did Mr. Herriot NOT give in to the temptation to keep Tricki at the surgery in 'A Triumph of Surgery'?

a. He could not afford to take care of Tricki.

b. He felt Tricki would be unhappy at the surgery.

c. He knew Mrs. Pumphrey was miserable without Tricki.

d. He continued feasting on items Mrs. Pumphrey sent for Tricki.

Ans. Option (c)

Q. No. 5) What does the exclamation, “This is a triumph of surgery!”, by Mrs. Pumphrey, mean?

a. The surgery was successful.

b. The mistress could take back her pet.

c. The doctor was a great veterinarian.

d. The planned venture was fruitful.

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 6) “I was really worried about Tricki this time.” Comment on the writer’s choice of beginning the story in this manner. What purpose does it serve?

Ans. The writer's choice of beginning the story of "A Triumph of Surgery" with the sentence "I was really worried about Tricki this time" serves to immediately capture the reader's attention and create a sense of urgency. By starting the story with a statement about the writer's concern for Tricki, the reader is immediately drawn into the narrative and begins to wonder what has happened to Tricki and why the writer is so worried. Furthermore, this opening statement also serves to establish Tricki as the main focus of the story, making it clear that the narrative will revolve around the dog's health and well-being.

Q. No. 7) “Tricki’s only fault was greed”, says the narrator. What might be Mrs. Pumphrey’s “only fault”?


Based on 'A Triumph of Surgery', state how Mrs. Pumphrey did more harm than good to Tricki.

Ans. Introduction:

Mrs. Pumphrey needed to be a more responsible pet parent so that Tricki could have been a healthier pet.

Mrs. Pumphrey:

• Overindulgent/foolish/anxious/weak-hearted/loving/tender/warm/caring/simple.

• Overindulgence could have proven fatal for Tricki / Mr. Herriot's intervention saved Tricki's life.


Even though her intentions were good and she meant no harm, unknowingly she caused great harm to her beloved pet, Tricki. If she didn't indulge and spoil Tricki he would have been better off.

Q. No. 8) Why was it important for Mrs. Pumphrey to be a little cruel in order to be kind towards Tricki?


  • She was overfeeding Tricki; being overindulgent
  • She needed to cut down Tricki's food intake to help him regain his health (be cruel to be kind).

Q. No. 9) Dr. Herriot knew his patients as well as their owners really well. Discuss.

Ans. Patients -- Dr. Herriot could understand the problems of his patients (dogs) just by observing-- saw Tricki in the market and understood that the dog requires help.

Owners -- He understood the owner (Mrs. Pumphrey) well and never spoke any harsh and advising words on the seriously obese dog- knowing fully well that she was responsible for this condition.

Q. No. 10) What do you think would happen to Tricki after he went back to Mrs. Pumphrey?

Ans. Given the fact that Tricki was experiencing health problems as a result of Mrs. Pumphrey's overindulgence and lack of discipline, it is likely that she would need to make some changes to her approach to caring for Tricki in order to ensure his continued well-being. She may need to regulate his diet more carefully, provide him with more exercise, and work to discourage him from overeating or indulging in unhealthy behaviors.

Additionally, it is possible that Tricki's health problems may have served as a wake-up call for Mrs. Pumphrey, causing her to reassess her relationship with Tricki and her responsibility as his owner. She may have realized that her previous approach was not sustainable or healthy for Tricki, and may have made a commitment to change her ways in order to provide him with the best possible care.

Q. No. 11) Do you think the narrator’s decision to not reveal the actual treatment to Mrs. Pumphrey was unprofessional? Justify your stance.

Ans. From a professional standpoint, it can be argued that the narrator's decision to withhold the details of Tricki's treatment from Mrs. Pumphrey was unprofessional. As a veterinarian, the narrator has a responsibility to provide his clients with all relevant information about their pets' care, including details about any medical procedures or treatments. By failing to disclose the specifics of Tricki's surgery, the narrator may have deprived Mrs. Pumphrey of important information that could impact her ability to care for Tricki in the future.

On the other hand, it could be argued that the narrator's decision was based on his concern for Mrs. Pumphrey's emotional well-being. As a close friend of the family, the narrator may have been aware of Mrs. Pumphrey's strong attachment to Tricki and her tendency to become overly emotional. By sparing her the details of the surgery, the narrator may have been trying to protect her from unnecessary worry and stress.

Q. No. 12) The story, A Triumph of Surgery is a powerful example of the importance of saying “no”. Explain.

Ans. The story - a powerful example of the importance of saying no when it comes to making decisions that affect the health and well-being of others, whether it be for pets or for people

  • Mrs. Pumphrey's love and indulgence for her dog, Tricki, leads to the dog becoming severely overweight and unhealthy.
  • Despite Herriot's advice to put Tricki on a diet and exercise regimen, Mrs. Pumphrey is unable to say ‘no’ and abstain from overfeeding the dog -- Tricki becomes seriously ill due to his weight and unhealthy habits.
  • The story, thus, highlights the fact that sometimes, the best way to help someone is to say no and steer them towards a better path, even if it may be uncomfortable or unpopular at the moment.

Q. No. 13) According to a popular quote— Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. In what way is this quote relevant to the events of the story?

Ans. The quote "Where there is no struggle, there is no strength" is relevant to the events of the story "A Triumph of Surgery" in the sense that Tricki's struggle with obesity and health problems ultimately led to his strength and recovery. If Tricki had not faced the struggle of poor health and Mrs. Pumphrey's overindulgence, he may not have undergone the surgery that saved his life and helped him to become healthier and stronger. Similarly, the narrator and the staff at the veterinary hospital also faced struggles in treating Tricki, but their efforts ultimately led to a triumph of success and the recovery of Tricki's health. Therefore, the quote highlights the idea that struggle can lead to growth, resilience, and strength.

Q. No. 14) ‘Privilege often confuses actual needs for perceived ones.’ Evaluate this statement with reference to Mrs. Pumphrey.

Ans. The statement "Privilege often confuses actual needs for perceived ones" is highly relevant to Mrs. Pumphrey's character in "A Triumph of Surgery." As a wealthy and privileged individual, Mrs. Pumphrey often indulged Tricki with expensive gifts, treats, and excessive amounts of food, mistaking her dog's actual needs for perceived ones.

Despite Tricki's obvious obesity and poor health, Mrs. Pumphrey continued to spoil him with luxurious items and lavish attention, failing to recognize that what he truly needed was a healthier and more disciplined lifestyle. Her privilege and wealth may have contributed to this confusion, as she was able to provide Tricki with anything he wanted, without considering the impact on his health and well-being.

This misunderstanding of Tricki's actual needs ultimately led to his health problems and the need for surgery, which could have been avoided if Mrs. Pumphrey had recognized the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. Therefore, the statement highlights the danger of privilege and the importance of recognizing and meeting actual needs, rather than succumbing to perceived ones based on luxury and excess.

Q. No. 15) Imagine that one of Mr. Herriot’s partners can understand the language of dogs and listens to Tricki on his last night with them.

a. What might Tricki share about his experience?

b. How would he evaluate it in comparison to his home experience?

Ans. a. Tricki might express gratitude towards the veterinary staff for their care and attention, particularly in recognizing his health issues and providing him with the necessary treatment. He might also express relief at the prospect of a healthier lifestyle and the possibility of losing weight.

Additionally, Tricki might reflect on the stark contrast between his life at the veterinary hospital and his life with Mrs. Pumphrey. He might express sadness and disappointment at the lack of discipline and structure in his previous home, and the detrimental impact it had on his health. He might also express a newfound appreciation for the simple pleasures of regular meals, exercise, and companionship that he received at the veterinary hospital.

b. Tricki would likely evaluate his experience at the veterinary hospital as positive in comparison to his home experience. While he may have initially been hesitant and uncomfortable with the change in his environment, he would have come to appreciate the benefits of a healthier and more structured lifestyle. He may recognize that his previous life with Mrs. Pumphrey was based on excessive indulgence and luxury, without regard for his actual needs and well-being.

Q. No. 16) Imagine Mrs. Pumphrey came to know how Tricki was actually treated. Write a brief note to the narrator on her behalf.

You may begin this way:

Dear Mr. Herriot

I recently met Mrs. Mallard when she brought her Pixie to visit dear Tricki. I spoke to her about the great triumph of surgery that had brought him back to me. Imagine my surprise when she told me how mistaken I was! I am writing to you to share……(continue)……...

Ans. Dear Mr. Herriot,

I recently met Mrs. Mallard when she brought her Pixie to visit dear Tricki. I spoke to her about the great triumph of surgery that had brought him back to me. Imagine my surprise when she told me how mistaken I was! I am writing to you to share my feelings of shock and sadness at learning the truth about Tricki's treatment.

I had always believed that I was providing Tricki with the best care possible, indulging him with expensive gifts, treats, and excessive amounts of food. However, I now understand that my actions were misguided and harmful to Tricki's health and well-being.

I am deeply grateful to you and your team for recognizing Tricki's health issues and providing him with the necessary treatment. I realize now that I should have trusted your professional judgment and expertise, rather than relying on my own perceptions and beliefs.

I would like to offer my sincere apologies to you, your staff, and especially Tricki for my ignorance and neglect. I understand that I may have caused harm to Tricki's health, and I would like to make amends by learning how to provide him with the proper care and attention he needs in the future.

Thank you for all that you have done for Tricki, and please know that I am deeply grateful for your care and expertise.

Mrs. Pumphrey

Q. No. 17) Mrs. Pumphrey and Dr. Herriot have been invited to speak at a community pet adoption drive.

There were some differences in Mrs. Pumphrey's and Dr. Herriot’s notions of responsibility and experiences of keeping a pet.

As a reporter for the local pet magazine, write an article recording and comparing their perspectives. Don’t forget to give it an interesting title.


Two Perspectives on Responsible Pet Ownership

As the local pet adoption drive approached, two prominent figures in the pet care community were invited to speak about their experiences with pet ownership. Mrs. Pumphrey, a wealthy socialite, and Dr. Herriot, a veterinarian, both had unique perspectives on the responsibilities and challenges of owning a pet.

Mrs. Pumphrey began her speech by discussing her love for her beloved Pekingese, Tricki. She shared anecdotes about his luxurious lifestyle, including his expensive toys, gourmet meals, and customized outfits. However, she also acknowledged that her indulgent behavior had led to Tricki's health problems, and she expressed regret for not recognizing the signs earlier.

Dr. Herriot, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of responsible pet ownership, based on his years of experience as a veterinarian. He spoke about the need for regular checkups, vaccinations, and preventive care, as well as the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and socialization. He also stressed the role of pet owners in providing a safe and comfortable home environment for their pets.

Despite their differences in perspective, both Mrs. Pumphrey and Dr. Herriot agreed on the importance of providing pets with proper care and attention. Mrs. Pumphrey acknowledged that her love for Tricki had blinded her to his actual needs, and she pledged to make changes to ensure his future health and well-being. Dr. Herriot, meanwhile, stressed the need for pet owners to be proactive in seeking professional advice and taking responsibility for their pets' care.

In conclusion, the community pet adoption drive served as a reminder of the importance of responsible pet ownership, and the need to recognize and address the challenges that come with caring for a pet. Mrs. Pumphrey and Dr. Herriot's differing perspectives provided valuable insights into the complexities of pet ownership, and the need for continued education and awareness in the pet care community.

Q. No. 18) Imagine that Walt Whitman shares his poem ‘Animals’ in response to Dr. Herriot’s narration of Tricki’s story.

Dr. Herriot reflects on the poem and his experience with Tricki and Mrs. Pumphrey, draws a connection between them, and records his thoughts in his diary.

Write the diary entry as Dr. Herriot.

You may begin this way:

12 May 1950, Friday 9.30 pm

Walt’s poem has compelled me to think again about my experience with Tricki and Mrs. Pumphrey. All those materialistic playthings ….

Ans. 12 May 1950, Friday 9.30 pm

Walt's poem 'Animals' has compelled me to think again about my experience with Tricki and Mrs Pumphrey. All those materialistic playthings and luxury items that Mrs. Pumphrey showered upon Tricki were nothing but temporary pleasures that did not last. As Whitman writes, "They do not sweat and whine about their condition; / They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins; / They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God."

Tricki, like all animals, lived in the present moment and did not concern himself with the past or future. But, it was evident that he was not getting the necessary care and attention that he required. Mrs. Pumphrey's love for Tricki was genuine, but it was mixed with her privilege and ignorance of the needs of animals. As Whitman writes, "I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained, / I stand and look at them long and long."

As a veterinarian, it is my responsibility to educate pet owners about the importance of proper care and attention for their animals. I am grateful that I could help Tricki and bring him back to health. But, I cannot help but think about the countless other animals who do not receive the same care and attention they deserve. As Whitman writes, "For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

I hope that my experience with Tricki and Mrs. Pumphrey can serve as a reminder to all pet owners about the importance of responsible pet ownership and the well-being of animals. As Whitman writes, "I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained; / I stand and look at them long and long."

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