Grandfather Finds a Tiger Cub-Timothy

One day, when grandfather was walking down the forest path, a little away from his party, he found a tiger’s cub. He picked him up and brought him home. Grandfather was the only member in the hunter’s party who was ever able to find anything, be it dead or alive. Grandmother named the tiger cub,  Timothy. Initially Timothy was only given milk in a feeding-bottle by the cook, Mahmoud. Later he was put on a diet of raw mutton and cod-liver oil. After some time, he was given much more tempting food of pigeons and rabbits.

Timothy’s Companions

Toto, the monkey and a small mongrel puppy were the companions of Timothy. Toto was daring enough to pull the young tiger’s tail and play with it. He would climb up the curtains if Timothy lost his temper. The mongrel puppy, however, was a source of fear for Timothy. Much later, did Timothy overcome that fear and allowed the puppy to ride his back.

Timothy and the Narrator

Timothy was very fond of playing with just anybody. It did not, therefore, take very long for the narrator to become friends with Timothy when he came to stay with his Grandfather. He would creep closer and closer to the narrator, roll over his back, lick him with delight and often pretend to be biting his ankles.

Timothy had clean habits. He would scrub his face with his s, just like a cat does, In the night, he would sleep in the cook’s quarters and in the morning would be delighted to be let out by the cook. His favourite place in the house was the drawing room and he would comfortably recline over a sofa with great dignity.

Grandmother’s Prediction

Timothy had grown up to become a full-grown tiger. One of he days, Grandmother predicted that Timothy would become very dangerous and it was possible that some day the cook would disappear and only his clothes and shoes would remain. It never went to that extreme but when Timothy was six  months  old, he grew less friendly and more dangerous. He would steal himself away to stalk a cat or a dog. Sometimes, during the night, cackling sound would be heard from the poultry house and in the morning feathers would be scattered everywhere.

Grandfather sent Timothy to the Zoo

When Timothy began to stalk the cook with villainous eyes, grandfather took him to Lucknow and gave him to the zoo authorities. About six months later, when the narrator’s grandparents went to Lucknow on a purpose, Grandfather decided to meet Timothy.

After reaching the zoo, the Grandfather went straight to meet Timothy. On seeing Timothy, Grandfather called out to Timothy and put his arms through the bars of the cage. The tiger approached the bars and allowed the grandfather to put his arms around him. He licked Grandfather’s hands and only sprang when a leopard in the next cage snarled at him.

The Surprised Keeper

Seeing the Grandfather go so close to the tiger, the keeper was taken aback and asked grandfather what he was doing. Grandfather, then, told him that this was Timothy, his tiger, Relieved, the keeper told the grandfather to continue his conversation. A little later, grandfather saw another keeper observing him. Grandfather recognised this keeper to be there when he had brought Timothy to the zoo. The second keeper, too, was surprised. He told the grandfather that this was not his tiger. Timothy had died two months ago of pneumonia.

Grandfather bid goodnight to the tiger, still addressing him as Timothy and left.

Word Meanings

Word                                                                                        Meaning in English

Strolling                                                                                         leisurely walk

Bagged                                                                                           catch

Tempting                                                                                       alluring

Darted                                                                                            dash

Absurd                                                                                           silly

Forepaws                                                                                       front paws

Ridiculously                                                                                  unreasonably

Crafty                                                                                              cunning

Glittering                                                                                        sparkling

Crouching                                                                                      bend over

Creep                                                                                               sneak

Retriever                                                                                        hunting dog

Berth                                                                                               compartment

Reclining                                                                                        lie down

Snarling                                                                                          roaring

Prophetic                                                                                        visionary

Stalk                                                                                                follow

Frenzied                                                                                         furious

Cackling                                                                                          laugh

Poultry                                                                                            hen breeding

Villainous                                                                                       wicked

Intent                                                                                              aim

Stroked                                                                                           patted

Smacked                                                                                         slap

Sprang                                                                                            jump

Reunion                                                                                         get together

Stammered                                                                                   stumble

Relish                                                                                             enjoy

Mumbled                                                                                       mutter

Scornful                                                                                         disrespectful

Briskly                                                                                            quickly

NCERT Solutions

Comprehension Check


  1. “He had the distinction of being the only member of the party to have bagged any game…”

The phrase in italics means

(i) Grandfather was the most distinguished member of the party.

(ii) Grandfather was the only sportsperson in the party.

(iii) Grandfather was the only successful member of the hunting party.

Mark the right answer

Ans. (iii) Grandfather was the only successful member of the hunting party.

  1. Complete the following sentences.

(i) Toto climbed up the curtains when ……….

(ii) …….. I became one of the tiger’s favourites.

(iii) Timothy had clean habits, ……………


(i) Timothy lost his temper.

(ii) Since Timothy loved to play with just anybody

(iii) and would scrub his face with his paws exactly like a cat. 

CHECK (NCERT Page 64 )

  1. Grandmother’s prophecy was that the tiger

(i) would prefer Mahmoud’s bed to sleep in.

(ii)  and the cook would disappear together from the house

(iii)  would one day make a meal of Mahmoud.

Mark the right answer

Ans. (iii) would one day make a meal of Mahmoud.

  1. When Timothy was about six months old, a change came over him.

The phrase in italics means that

(i) Timothy had grown to his full size.

(ii) Timothy grew more friendly.

(iii)  Timothy grew less friendly, in fact more dangerous.

Ans. (iii) Timothy grew less friendly, in fact more dangerous.

  1. Write True’ or ‘False’ against each of the following statements.

(i) Timothy and Grandfather went to Lucknow in a special compartment ………

(ii) The compartment in which Grandfather and Timothy travelled had no other passenger ……..

(iii) Timothy and Grandfather travelled in a first class compartment …………..

(iv) All passengers in the compartment thought that Timothy was a well-fed and civilised tiger ………


(i) True                         (ii) True

(iii) True                       (iv) False

  1. Grandfather suggested that Timothy should be put in another cage.

The reason was that

(i)  the tiger had become very bad tempered.

(ii)  a leopard in the next cage would constantly rush at Timothy.

(iii)  the cage was too small for a full grown tiger.

Ans. (ii) a leopard in the next cage would constantly rush at Timothy.

  1. The tiger was still licking his arm, with increasing relish. The phrase in italics suggests that Timothy

(i) was good natured.

(ii)  recognised an old friend.

(iii)  smelt fresh food.

Ans. (iii) smelt fresh food 

Exercises Check

CHECK® (NCERT Page 65)

Answer the following questions.

  1. Where was the tiger cub hiding when Grandfather found him?

Ans. The tiger cub was hiding in the intricate roots of the banyan tree when Grandfather found him there.

  1. (i) What did Toto do to entertain Timothy?

(ii) What did he do when Timothy lost his temper?


(i) Timothy would pull the tiger’s tale to play with it.

(ii) If Timothy lost his temper, he would climb up the curtains.

  1. “I became one of the tiger’s favourites.” Who Is ‘l’ in the statement? Why did he think so?

Ans. “I” is the narrator of the story. He became tiger’s favourite because the tiger’s favourite amusement was to stalk anyone who would play with him.

  1. Where was Timothy most comfortable during the day? Where was he during the night?

Ans. During the day, Timothy felt most comfortable to recline over the sofa in the drawing room. During the night, he would share the cook’s bed.

  1. What was Grandmother’s prophecy about the cook? Did it come true?

Ans. The Grandmother prophesied that since Timothy was growing dangerous he might consume the cook as a meal.

The prophecy did not come true because Grandfather prevented it by sending him (Timothy) to the zoo in Lucknow.

  1. What made Grandfather decide to transfer Timothy to the zoo?

Ans. Timothy, with every passing day, was becoming more dangerous. Very often he would steal away to stalk cats and dogs. But when he started stalking the cook, Grandfather decided to transfer Timothy  to zoo .

  1. Why did Grandfather want Timothy to be put in another enclosure?

Ans. Grandfather wished Timothy to be put in another enclosure because the leopard in the next cage would snarl at Timothy, making him uncomfortable.

  1. What shocked Grandfather in the end?

Ans. When the zoo keeper informed the Grandfather that Timothy had died two months ago, Grandfather was shocked.

He was also shocked because his arm was almost in the tiger’s mouth who was licking it with great relish

Discuss the following topics in groups.

  1. Shoot animals with a camera, not with a gun.

Ans. Nature is blessed with many beautiful  elements, one of them being the birds and animals. Shooting animals with a gun only makes their species disappear and become extinct over a period of time.

Shooting them with a camera, that is clicking their photographs, is a way by which this beauty could be shared with more number of people and thereby increased. Animals, too, are living beings and have the right to live freely. Killing them for fun and entertainment is an example of man’s perverse nature.

  1. Keeping pets helps us become more loving and tolerant. It also helps us respect life in any form. Do you agree?

Ans. It is true that keeping pets makes one more loving and tolerant. Pets, like children, demand a lot of care and attention.

In return, they too bestow their love and affection and always stay loyal. If we learn to love and respect animal life, we would also be able to harbour a genuine love and care for other fellow human beings and other forms of to life.

  1. Have you heard of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)? What do they do?

Ans. SPCA is a non-profit animal welfare organisation founded in England in 1824 to pass laws protecting animals and preventing cruelty against them.

They also find homes for unwanted animals and give them away to people who would like to adopt them.

Questions and Answers

Short Questions and Answers

  1. What kind of diet was given to Timothy?

Ans. Initially, Timothy was brought up entirely on milk. He was given milk in a feeding bottle by the cook, Later, he was put on a diet of raw mutton and cod-liver oil. Thereafter, he was put on a more tempting diet of pigeons and rabbits.

  1. In what all ways would Timothy play with the narrator and seek his attention?

Ans. With a crafty look in his glittering eyes and his body crouching, he would creep closer and closer to the narrator. He would roll on narrator’s back, lick him with delight and sometimes also pretend to bite his ankles.

  1. Why were the people at the zoo surprised to see the reunion?

Ans. Seeing Grandfather go so close to the tiger and caressing him fondly made the people in the zoo view them with amazement. A keeper pushed his way through the crowd, trying to figure out what the old man was up to, as the tiger was a dangerous one. 

Long Questions and Answers

Question 1 : Discuss the instances which prove that Timothy had become a dangerous tiger.

Ans. Whenever Timothy went for a walk, Timothy would steal away to stalk a cat or a pet dog. During the night, frenzied cackling could be heard from the poultry house and in the morning feathers would be scattered everywhere over the verandah.

He had to be chained more often. And finally, he began to stalk Mahmoud, the cook. It became amply clear that Timothy had grown to become a dangerous tiger.

  1. Describe the reunion between Grandfather and Timothy.

Ans. On visiting the zoo, Grandfather headed straight to the particular cage where Timothy was interned. Grandfather put his arms through the cage and the tiger approached the bars and allowed Grandfather to put both his hands around his head. Grandfather stroked his head, tickled his ears and smacked his mouth to make hìm quiet the old way. The tiger, too, licked Grandfather’s hand affectionately.

  1. What revelations did the second zoo keeper make?

Ans.  The second zoo keeper observed Grandfather caressing the tiger in the cage. So, affectionately. He was not only shocked at but also afraid of this. When Grandfather told him, it was his tiger, he confirmed him that it was not. He told him that his tiger died two months ago and the one he  was  stroking  so lovingly had been trapped in the hills. He warned him that it was very dangerous too.

Grandfather could not believe this because his hand was still being licked by the tiger.