Mrs. Packletide's Tiger Summary, Question Answers - CBSE Class 10

Mrs. Packletide's Tiger Summary, Question Answers - CBSE Class 10

Answer the following questions in your own words:

(a) Why did Mrs. Packletide wish to kill a tiger?
Ans. Mrs. Packletide's movements and motives were largely governed by her dislike for
Loona Bimberton. Loona had recently been carried eleven miles in an aeroplane by
an Algerian pilot. Now Mrs. Packletide wanted to do something more exciting and
more sensational than what Miss Bimberton had done. So she decided to kill a tiger
to prove herself more adventurous and daring than Loona.

(b) What made her decide to give a party in Loona Bimberton's honour? What did she
intend to give Loona on her birthday?
Ans. Outwardly, Mrs. Packletide wanted to give a party in Loona Bimberton's honour.
But her real aim was to show Loona that she had done a more exciting, daring and
sensational act of killing a tiger. She wanted to show a tiger skin rug and present a
tiger claw brooch on her birthday.

(c) How was the tiger shooting arranged? What kind of a tiger was chosen for the
Ans. Mrs. Packletide came to know that a neighbouring village was a favourite haunt of a
tiger. Grabbing the opportunity, she bribed the villagers by giving a thousand
rupees for the safe and convenient opportunity of hunting a tiger. For this purpose
they identified an old and senile tiger who could be hunted down easily.

(d) In what way did the villagers help Mrs. Packletide shoot the tiger?
Ans. A reward of one thousand rupees aroused the greed of the villagers. They gave all
help to Mrs. Packletide to arrange for the safe and easy hunt of a tiger. They
managed to keep the tiger confined to his present quarters. They posted boys to
prevent the tiger from going away to other fresh hunting grounds. Mothers kept
their babies quiet and hushed their singing so as not to disturb the restful sleep of
the venerable herd robber.

(e) Who was Miss Mebbin? Was she really devoted to Mrs. Packletide? How did she
behave during the tiger shooting?
Ans. Miss. Mebbin was a paid companion to Mrs. Packletide. She was not at all devoted
to Mrs. Packletide. She only pretended to adopt a protective elder sister attitude
towards her but in reality was more protective towards her money. She tried to
show that they had paid a higher price for an old tiger.

(f) Mrs. Packletide was a good shot. Discuss.
Ans. Mrs. Packletide was not at all a good shot. She was not an established hunter. She
proved to be a bad shot as she killed the goat meant to be a bait instead of the tiger.
The wrong animal was shot. The tiger seemed to have died of heart failure caused
by the loud report of the rifle. This is intended to be a satirical remark.

(g) What comment did Miss Mebbin make after Mrs. Packletide had fired the shot?
Why did Miss Mebbin make this comment ? How did Mrs. Packletide react to this
Ans. After Mrs. Packletide had fired the shot, Miss Mebbin drew her attention to the goat
that was in its death-throes, much to the chagrin of Mrs. Packletide. A mortal bullet
had hit the goat. There was no trace of the rifle's deadly work on the tiger. Evidently
the wrong animal had been shot down. The tiger, it appeared, had died of heart
failure caused by the sudden report of the rifle. The remark by Louisa Mebbin
annoyed Mrs. Packletide.

(h) How did the villagers react to the tiger's death?
Ans. The villagers were anxious to get their reward. Mrs. Packletide had promised them
a thousand rupees for the convenient hunt of a tiger. They gladly connived at the
false story. They celebrated the hunting down of the tiger by thumping the tom
toms that Mrs. Packletide had really shot the beast dead. Understandably, Mrs.
Packletide was glad of their stand.

(i) Do you think Mrs. Packletide was able to achieve her heart's desire? Give reasons
for your answer.
Ans. Mrs. Packletide was not able to achieve her heart's desire completely. No doubt, she
had a dead tiger in her possession. But Miss Mebbin threatened to give the secret
away to Loona Bimberton, blackmailing her and forcing her to buy a week-end
cottage for her at Darking. She was constantly under the threat of Miss Mebbin
divulging the truth and hence couldn’t celebrate the victory completely.

(j) How did Miss Mebbin manage to get her week-end cottage? Why did she plant so
many tiger lilies in her garden?
Ans. Miss Mebbin managed to get her week-end cottage only by blackmailing Mrs.
Packletide. She threatened that the secret of the tiger's death could be revealed to
Loona Bimberton. She extorted a heavy price and forced Mrs. Packletide to get her
the week-end cottage at Darking. She planted so many tiger lilies in the garden as a
tribute to the tiger which had helped her to procure the cottage.

(k) “The incidental expenses are so heavy, “she confides to inquiring friends. Who is
the speaker? What is she referring to here?
Ans. The speaker is Mrs. Packletide. She gave up big game hunting because it turned out
to be very expensive. No doubt, she was the possessor of a dead tiger. But she had to
pay one thousand rupees to the villagers to arrange for an old tiger and a convenient
hunting ground. The tiger also didn’t die of her gunshot but due to heart failure.
Moreover, Miss Mebbin her companion during tiger hunting blackmailed her into
buying a weekend cottage for.

Q 5. Discuss the following questions in detail and write the answers in your notebooks:

(a) Do you think the tiger shooting organized by the villagers was a serious affair? Give
reasons for your answer.
Ans. (a) The villagers seemed to be quite serious and sincere in providing the best
opportunities to Mrs. Packletide for a safe and convenient tiger shooting. The
reward of a thousand rupees stimulated their sporting and commercial instinct.
They posted children night and day on the outskirts of the local jungle. The idea was
to hold the tiger back if he tried to roam away to fresh hunting grounds. Some
cheaper kinds of goats were left around deliberately to keep him satisfied with his
present quarters. Since the tiger was old, safety measures were taken to keep him
alive till the day of shooting. Mothers returning home hushed their singing lest it
should disturb the restful sleep of the old tiger. The villagers constructed a special
platform for Mrs. Packletide in a comfortable and conveniently placed tree. A goat
gifted with a persistent bleat was tied at the correct distance so that its loud bleating
could be heard even by a partially deaf tiger. When the entire village waited with
bated breath, there on the tree sat Mrs. Packletide with a rifle, ready to shoot the

b) Do you think the writer is trying to make fun of the main characters in the story i.e.
Mrs. Packletide, Miss Mebbin and Loona Bimberton? Pick out instances from the
story that point to this fact.
Ans. Saki uses the technique of satire, irony and humour to expose the three characters in
the story. All the three main characters in the story are hypocrites jealous and vain.
Mrs. Packletide's movements and motives are driven by her hatred for Loona
Bimberton. Her aim is only to outdo and outshine her rival Loona Bimberton who
had performed a great feat of having a joy-ride in an aeroplane with an Algerian
pilot. She wants to perform something more exciting and adventurous. Hence, her
idea of killing a tiger. Loona Bimberton and Mrs. Packletide excel in pretense,
hypocrisy and competitive rivalry. The author has a dig looking at their affection
with inner agenda and hypocrisy. He simply laughs at the way the whole stagemanaged
drama of the tiger shooting is arranged. He also satirises Loona's reaction
at her rival's shooting of a tiger. She abstained from looking at newspapers carrying
photographs and write ups about Mrs. Packletide. Saki’s sarcasm is shown for
Louisa Mebbin when she says, “she adopted a protective attitude towards Mrs.
Packletide and her elder sister attitude to money irrespective of denomination and
currency.” Her miserliness, materialistic attitude and manipulative qualities are
the author’s point of ridicule.

(c) A person who is vain is full of self-importance and can only think of himself/herself
and can go to great lengths to prove his/her superiority. Do you think Mrs.
Packletide is vain? Give reasons in support of your answer.
Ans. Certainly, yes. Mrs Packletide is indeed vain with a bloated sense of ego. Such a person
would go to any extent to prove her superiority. Mrs. Packletide considers herself so
important that she wants to remain in the limelight. She wants to outshine her rival
Loona Bimberton's feat of having a joy-ride in an aeroplane with an Algerian pilot
brought her in the limelight. Loona would not talk of anything else for weeks. All
movements and motives of Mrs. Packletide were controlled and directed by her utter
dislike of Loona Bimberton. Hence, emerged the idea of shooting a tiger. Unmindful of
the expenses she offered a reward of one thousand rupees to all the villagers for
arranging a safe and convenient stage-managed tiger shooting. Her paid companion
Miss Mebbin threatened to tell Loona the secret of the tiger's death and Mrs. Packletide
did not mind being black mailed and ultimately paid a huge price for buying a weekend
cottage for the wily Miss Mebbin.

(d) Sometimes writers highlight certain negative aspects in society or human beings by
making fun of it. This is called satire. In your groups, discuss whether you would
classify this story as a satire. Give reasons to support your answer.
Ans. The author mocks at society and the people-who lead a luxurious and extravagant
type of life. Loona Bimberton and Mrs. Packletide are vain, callous, jealous and
superficial. Miss Mebbin is a human being but devoid of human qualities. She is
shrewd, selfish, opportunistic and a go getter. These three women display negative
traits of man's personality. Strangely enough the possessors of these traits think they
are a storehouse of good qualities. The author highlights these negative points and
arrives at the conclusion that these ladies are in reality, shallow, baseless, stupid, vain
and fail to see the futility of their actions. The author simply makes fun of these vain
women who resort to any means to maintain their snobbish status in society. He
satirizes their actions and tries to convince the world that man should not become
addicted to such vices but rather lead a smooth and pious life. Loona Bimberton and
Mrs. Packletide, mutually, contend with each other and they are intended to be
laughed at. By satirizing their negative traits the writer warns us not to be so.

(e) How does the writer create humour in this story?
Ans. Humour is the ability to laugh at persons or things that are amusing. Hector Hugh
Munro or Saki was a master of stories that excel in humorous situations. His
characters, through their follies or weaknesses create amusing situations. The very
idea of Mrs. Packletide to shoot a tiger to outdo her rival was quite amusing. She
walked towards the footsteps of Nimrod not because of her lust to kill animals. Nor
did she feel that she would leave India 'safer and more whole some by killing a tiger.
Saki in his inimitable humour discloses the real reason of Mrs. Packletide's
misadventure. 'Her movements and motives were largely governed by dislike of
Loona Bimberton'. The description of the tiger is equally humorous. 'The one great
anxiety was lest he should die of old age before the date...'. Mrs. Packletide's tiger
was not a ferocious beast but one who needed a short rest before commencing the
grand attack.' Saki uses satire to heighten the effect. Louisa Mebbin adopted a
protective elder-sister attitude towards Mrs. Packletide especially in money
matters. Her miserliness is highlighted frequently. ........’ if one doesn’t touch the
goat one needn't pay for it.’ Saki ends the story with a stroke of masterly humour
blended with irony. Mrs. Packletide gives up big game shooting because "the
incidental expenses are so heavy”.

Q 7. There are many amusing lines in the story. Here are a few of them. Rewrite each
one in ordinary prose so that the meaning is retained. One has been done for you
as an example:

(a) It was Mrs. Packletide's pleasure and intention that she should shoot a tiger.
Mrs. Packletide wanted to shoot a tiger.

(b) Mrs. Packletide had already arranged in her mind the lunch she would give at her
house in Curzon Street, ostensibly in Loona Bimberton's honour, with a tiger-skin
rug occupying most of the foreground and all of the conversation.

Ans. (a) Mrs. Packletide had already decided that she would host a lunch in Loona
Bimberton's honour in Curzon Street. She wanted to show off the tiger-skin and
wanted the people to talk about it.

(b) Mothers carrying their babies home through the jungle after the day's work in the
fields hushed their singing lest they might curtail the restful sleep of the venerable

(c) Mothers coming home through the jungle hushed their singing so that it might not
disturb the restful sleep of the old tiger.

(d) Louisa Mebbin adopted a protective elder-sister attitude towards money in general,
irrespective of nationality or denomination.

(e) Louisa Mebbin was zealously protective towards money irrespective of currency
and denomination.

(f) Evidently the wrong animal had been hit, and the beast of prey had succumbed to
heart-failure, caused by the sudden report of the rifle, accelerated by senile decay.

(g) Clearly, Mrs. Packletide had hit the wrong animal. The tiger didn't die of the bullet
wound but due to heart failure. His death was caused by the sudden loud noise of
the rifle and death came sooner because of his weakness and old age.

(h) As for Loona Bimberton, she refused to look at an illustrated paper for weeks, and
her letter of thanks for the gift of a tiger-claw brooch was a model of repressed
(Out of jealousy) Loona Bimberton refused to even look at newspapers and
magazines. Her thanks for the gift of a tiger-claw brooch was just a formality but
had craftily hidden her real and repressed feelings.

Q 8. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines normally contradictory terms.
The most common form of oxymoron involves an adjective-noun combination of
two words like-‘failed success’.
Writers often use an oxymoron to call attention to an apparent contradiction. For
example, Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘The Send-Off’, refers to soldiers leaving for the
frontline, who "lined the train with faces grimly gay." The oxymoron 'grimly gay'
highlights the contradiction between how the soldiers feel and how they act: though
they put on a brave face and act cheerful, they feel grim. Some examples of
oxymorons are-dark sunshine, cold sun, living dead, screeching silence, almost
exactly etc.
The story Mrs. Packletide's Tiger has a number of oxymorons. Can you identify
them and write them down in your notebooks?