A triumph of surgery – Summary and Quiz


The narrator, a veterinarian, was worried about a little dog named Tricki. Tricki’s owner, Mrs. Pumphrey, was a wealthy and kind lady, but she loved her pet a little too much. Tricki was so chubby he looked like a sausage with legs! His eyes were red, his tongue hung out, and he could barely move.

Mrs. Pumphrey tried to explain that Tricki was simply tired and needed some extra treats to feel better. She gave him malt, cod-liver oil, Horlicks drinks, and lots of cream cakes and chocolates. The vet told her Tricki was dangerously overweight and needed to eat less and exercise more, but Mrs. Pumphrey couldn’t bear to see him sad.

As Tricki got worse, the vet realized he had to do something drastic. He told Mrs. Pumphrey that Tricki needed to stay at the clinic for a few weeks. She was heartbroken but agreed. At first, Tricki was miserable at the clinic. He lay sadly on a rug while the other dogs ignored him.

But after a few days, something changed. Tricki began to perk up when he heard the sounds of other dogs playing outside. One day, he managed to join in, and the other dogs welcomed him into their pack. Tricki loved running around, playing chase, and even getting into friendly wrestling matches with his new friends.

Without any medicine or special treatment, Tricki started to get his shape back. He became strong and lean and loved being active. All the while, Mrs. Pumphrey kept calling the clinic, worried sick. She was sending Tricki baskets of eggs and even bottles of wine for the vet and his staff!

When it was finally time for Tricki to go home, Mrs. Pumphrey was overjoyed. She rushed out to greet him, but when she saw her beloved pet, she gasped. Instead of a fat little sausage, Tricki came bounding towards her, full of energy. Mrs. Pumphrey was amazed and thanked the vet over and over. She thought the vet’s work was nothing short of a miracle – a true triumph of surgery!

The vet smiled. He knew Tricki’s transformation wasn’t really about surgery at all. It was all thanks to a healthy dose of playtime, a simple diet, and getting away from too many treats.

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  • pull up a vehicle: To bring a vehicle to a stop.
  • mistress: A female pet owner (a somewhat old-fashioned term in this context).
  • bloated sausage: Describing Tricki’s extremely overweight and rounded body shape.
  • bloodshot: Eyes that appear red due to irritation or broken blood vessels.
  • rheumy: Eyes that are watery or have a discharge.
  • loll: Hang loosely or droop (referring to Tricki’s tongue).
  • hasten: To hurry or urge someone onward.
  • cut down on: Reduce the amount of something consumed.
  • relent: Give in after initially being firm or resistant.
  • be down with lumbago: Be suffering from lumbago (lower back pain).
  • wring: Twist and squeeze something, here referring to hands in distress.
  • set off: Begin a journey
  • regime: Strict diet and exercise plan.
  • totter: Walk with unsteady, faltering steps.
  • harness: The straps and fittings used to control and attach Tricki to a leash.
  • bout: Short period of illness.
  • hospitalise: Admit to the animal hospital.
  • fortnight: Two weeks.
  • swoon: Almost faint from overwhelming emotion.
  • pine: Suffer emotionally due to longing or missing someone/something.
  • take a firm line: Be strict and assertive in a decision.
  • despairing: Feeling hopeless and distressed.
  • armful: The quantity that can be held in one’s arms.
  • glance down: Look down quickly.
  • gasp: Breathe in sharply with a sense of shock or struggle.
  • wag: Move a tail back and forth ( of dogs).
  • surgery: In this context, the animal hospital/veterinary clinic.
  • surge: Move in a powerful, wave-like rush (here, the dogs).
  • whimper: Make soft crying sounds (of dogs).
  • engulf: Surround or cover something completely.
  • slop: Pour or spill liquid messily.
  • jostle: Push or bump against roughly.
  • rapid: Happening very quickly.
  • scrimmage: Rough and friendly struggle or fight.
  • tramp: Walk with heavy, noisy steps.
  • squash: Crush or flatten something with force.
  • shaggy: Having long hair that is not kept neat (of the dogs).
  • hover: Remain close by, anxiously waiting.
  • dodge: Avoid answering something directly.
  • convalesce: Recover health after an illness.
  • ceremonial: Relating to a formal and important occasion.
  • put a final edge: Provide a finishing touch (figurative, referring to the brandy).
  • reverently: With deep respect.
  • chauffeur: A person employed to drive a car.
  • clasp: Hold something tightly, usually with hands.
  • hurtle: Move at high speed and with force.
  • lithe: Thin and flexible in body.
  • take off: Leave the ground (in a leap).
  • tremendous: Extremely large.
  • sail into: Enter a space dramatically.
  • startled: Suddenly surprised or alarmed.
  • swarm over: Surround and cover something by moving in large numbers.

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