Class 9 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 2 - The Adventure Of Toto
The Adventure Of Toto Exercise 11
Toto comes to grandfather’s private zoo when he buys him from a tonga-driver for a sum of five rupees. The tonga-driver used to keep the little red monkey tied to a feeding-trough, and the monkey looked so out of place there that Grandfather decided he would add the little fellow to his private zoo.
Toto was a pretty monkey. His bright eyes sparkled with mischief beneath the deep-set eyebrows, and his teeth, which were a pearly white, were very often displayed in a smile that frightened the life out of elderly Anglo-Indian ladies. But his hands looked dried-up as though they had been pickled in the sun for many years. Yet his fingers were quick and wicked and his tail, while adding to his good looks served as a third hand. 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.
Since grandmother always fussed when grandfather brought home a new bird or an animal, Toto’s presence in the house was still a secret. He was transferred to a big cage in the servant’s quarters where a number of Grandfather’s pets lived very sociably together. But the monkey wouldn’t allow any of his companions to sleep at night. So Grandfather who had to leave Dehra Dun the next day to collect his pension in Saharanpur decides to take him along with him.
The ticket collector insists on calling Toto a dog because he was taken aback on seeing the monkey’s face peeping out of the bag. He could not imagine people keeping a monkey as a pet and so classified him as a dog and insisted that grandfather purchase a ticket for him.
A great treat for Toto during cold winter evenings was the large bowl of warm water given to him for his bath by grandmother. 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. 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 his feelings would be hurt and he would refuse to go on with his bath.
He learnt to do this from observing the boy, Ruskin Bond doing it himself.
One day Toto almost boiled himself alive when he saw a large kitchen kettle left on the fire to boil for tea and he, decided to remove the lid. Finding the water just warm enough for a bath, he got in, with his head sticking out from the open kettle. This was just fine for a while, until the water began to boil. Toto then raised himself a little but, finding it cold outside, sat down again. He continued hopping up and down for some time, until Grandmother arrived and hauled him, half-boiled, out of the kettle.
The author says, Toto was always up to mischief, tearing things to pieces and destroying every thing in their home. He was “not the sort of pet they could keep for long" because they were not well-to-do, and could not afford the frequent loss of dishes, clothes, curtains and wallpaper.