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.