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Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger Summary in English by Saki
Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger Summary in English
The story ‘Mrs Packletide’s Tiger’, written by Saki (H. H. Munro) makes fun of the Victorian-Edwardian fascination with wild-game hunting, as well as the urge of the people of this time to show off and prove themselves to be better than their so called ‘friends’. In this case, Mrs Packletide has a deep desire to be one up on her friend Loona Bimberton. Mrs Bimberton had earned a lot of media attention for having travelled in the newly invented mode of transport— ‘the airplane’ piloted by an Algerian aviator.
Mrs Packletide, her greatest rival, is now determined to outdo her feat and decides to shoot a tiger which was the only way in which she could counter all the publicity achieved by Loona Bimberton.
Fortunately, she has enough money to accomplish almost anything she wishes, and she offers a reward of a thousand rupees to anyone, or any group, that can assist her in reaching her goal. A nearby village takes up the challenge. They are fortunate to have an old tiger who had taken to preying on their domesticated animals, and are as eager to get rid of him as Mrs Packletide is keen to shoot him.
So the villagers construct a platform in a leafy tree for Mrs Packletide and strategically tether a goat ‘with a particularly persistent bleat’ underneath it. Armed with a rifle, Mrs Packletide, accompanied by her paid companion Louisa, waits through the night for the tiger to appear. At last the tiger is seen making his way into the clearing. Instead of attacking the terrified goat, the tiger lies down.
‘I believe it’s ill,’ Louisa says, but the tiger rises again and heads for the goat. Mrs Packletide fires and the tiger falls.
When the smoke clears, however, it is apparent that Mrs Packletide had shot the goat while the tiger had died of a heart attack. The villagers will not give away Mrs Packletide’s secret, for they are richer by a thousand rupees and Mrs Packletide presumes that she can trust Louisa who in any case is her paid companion and owes her some loyalty.
But Louisa, who has been feeling underpaid and underappreciated for some time, informs Mrs Packletide that she would require a little extra money to ensure that the true story of the tiger hunt is not leaked out, specifically to Loona Bimberton. She adds that the money would help her to buy a small cottage near Dorking.
Hence, people are very surprised when Louisa, a humble paid companion, suddenly becomes a homeowner; but they are even more surprised when Mrs Packletide gives up her newfound hobby, big-game hunting. ‘The initial expenses are so heavy,’ she tells those who ask the reason.
Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger Summary Questions and Answers
Answer the following questions in your own words:
a. Why did Mrs. Packletide wish to kill a tiger?
Mrs Packletide wished to do so because it was the only way she could think of getting more publicity than her social rival Loona Bimberton who had received a lot of media attention for her feat of having travelled in an airplane for eleven miles.
b. What made her decide to give a party in Loona Bimberton’s honour? What did she intend to give Loona on her birthday?
Once she had managed to kill the tiger she wanted to give the party to show off her success to Loona Bimberton and enjoy watching her bum with jealousy. Mrs Packletide planned to give her a brooch made out of the tiger claw.
c. How was the tiger shooting arranged? What kind of a tiger was chosen for the purpose?
Mrs Packletide leamt of a village which had an old tiger in the neighbourhood and she promised to pay the villagers a thousand mpees if they helped her to hunt it down. An old tiger on the verge of death was chosen because it presented very little risk to Mrs Packletide while hunting.
d. In what way did the villagers help Mrs. Packletide shoot the tiger?
First of all the villagers left their pet animals around so that the tiger did not stray from the village in search of food. Secondly, they took care not to disturb the tiger when it was resting. Thirdly, they helped set up a hunting platform for Mrs Packletide. Finally, they tied up a goat with a loud bleat to attract the tiger.
e. Who was Miss Mebbin? Was she really devoted to Mrs. Packletide? How did she behave during the tiger shooting?
Miss Mebbin was Mrs Packletide’s paid companion. No, she was not sincere towards Mrs Packletide because she threatened to disclose the hue facts of the hunt if she were not paid the money that would enable her to buy a cottage for herself.
f. What comment did Miss Mebbin make after Mrs Packletide hadfired the shot?
Miss Mebbin commented that the shot had killed the goat while the tiger had died of a heart attack.
g. Why did Miss Mebbin make this comment? How did Mrs Packletide react to this comment?
Mrs Packletide was annoyed at her for pointing out the hue circumstances of the hunt to her but she was not too concerned because she never imagined that she would use this piece of information against her.
h. How did the villagers react to the tiger’s death?
The villagers decide not to disclose the secret that the tiger died of a heart attack because they are richer by a thousand rupees and the tiger won’t prey on their animals anymore.
i. How did Miss Mebbin manage to get her week-end cottage? Why did she plant so many tiger lilies in her garden?
Miss Mebbin threatened to reveal the true facts about the hunt to Loona Bimberton unless Mrs Packletide paid her the required amount to buy herself a cottage. Mrs Packletide had no choice but to give in to her threat. Therefore, she was able to buy her weekend cottage. The flowers were planted to honour the tiger which had indirectly been responsible for her being able to afford a cottage of her own.
j. “The incidental expenses are so heavy, ” she confides to inquiring friends. Who is the speaker? What is she referring to here?
The speaker is Mrs Packletide and she is referring to the expenses incurred for the tiger hunt.
Choose extracts from the story that illustrate the character of the people listed in the table given below. There are some words given to help you. You may add words of your own. One has been done as an example:
vain jealous competitive shrewd manipulative stingy materialistic spiteful
|Character||Extract from the story||What this tells us about the character|
|Mrs. Packletide||(i) The compelling motive for her sudden Competitive deviation towards the footsteps of Nimrod was the fact that Loona Bimberton had recently been carried eleven miles in an aeroplane by an Algerian aviator, and talked of nothing else; only a personally procured tiger-skin and a heavy harvest of Press photographs could successfully counter that sort of thing.||Competitive|
|‘||(ii) Mrs. Packletide had offered a thousand rupees for the opportunity of shooting a tiger without over-much risk or exertion,||Vain|
|(iii) Mrs. Packletide faced the cameras with a light heart, and her pictured fame reached from the pages of the Texas Weekly Snapshot to the illustrated Monday supplement of the Novoe Vremya.||manipulative|
|Louisa Mebbin||(i) “If it’s an old tiger I think you ought to get it cheaper. A thousand rupees is a lot of money.”||Stingy|
|(ii) Louisa Mebbin adopted a protective elder-sister attitude towards money in general, irrespective of nationality or denomination||Miserly|
|(iii) “How amused every one would be if they knew what really happened,” said Louisa Mebbin a few days after the ball.||Manipulative|
|(iv) Louisa Mebbin’s pretty week-end cottage, christened by her “Les Fauves,” and gay in summer-time with its garden borders of tiger- lilies, is the wonder and admiration of her friends||materialistic|
|Loona Bimberton||(i) 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 emotions||Jealous|
|(ii) there are limits beyond which repressed emotions become dangerous.||spiteful|