Very Short Answer Type Questions

  1. What did the owner of the pet shop consider himself to be?

Ans. The owner of the pet shop considered himself to be a professional man.

  1. What unusual event occurred on the day the strange customer came to Mr Purcell’s shop?

Ans. The bell over the door of the shop always jingled whenever a customer entered. That particular day, for the first time, the bell had failed to ring.

  1. What was Mr Purcell’s habit on seeing a customer?

Ans. Out of habit, Mr Purcell, on seeing a customer would rub his hands briskly together, smile and nod to welcome his customers.

  1. What was the first thing Mr Purcell offered to his customer?

Ans. Mr Purcell showed a white rat to the customer when he asked for “something small, something caged.” 

Short Answer Type Questions

  1. “They give you five dollars…and tell you not to get caught again.” Who were the “they”?

Ans. The piece of advice, “not to get caught again” is usually given by police to the prisoners who have completed their term in the jail. The man also referred to having earned five dollars in ten years for hard labour. This labour could be the work prisoners did in the prison. ‘They’ could be the police.

  1. What was peculiar about the customer who bought the doves?

Ans. The man, after stepping out of the shop, stared at his purchase for a few moments and then let loose both the doves.

This was quite a peculiar act as he had bought them at a reduced price by showing his eagerness for them, but then he suddenly let them go.

Long Answer Type Question

What was the atmosphere in Mr Purcell’s pet shop?

Ans. There was a sense of foreboding in Mr Purcell’s pet shop. The movement of the birds in his shop was described as frantic, frightening, bewildered and unusual. The shop also had less light. The strange customer’s visit in the shop is described as casting a gaze around the “shadowy shop”. After the customer left, it seemed that the uncanny act of the customer had added on to the haunted aspect of the shop.