Class 9 Lesson “The Adventures of Toto” Word Meanings: Get here paragraph wise detailed word meanings of the lesson ‘The Adventures of Toto’. Click here for other lessons of CBSE class 9 English.
Paragraph Wise Word Meanings
GRANDFATHER bought Toto from a tonga-driver for the sum of five rupees. The tonga-driver used to keep the little red monkey tied to a feeding-trough, and the monkey looked so out of place there that Grandfather decided he would add the little fellow to his private zoo.
Toto was a pretty monkey. His bright eyes sparkled with mischief beneath deep-set eyebrows, and his teeth, which were a pearly white, were very often displayed in a smile that frightened the life out of elderly Anglo-lndian ladies. But his hands looked dried-up as though they had been pickled in the sun for many years. Yet his fingers were quick and wicked; and his tail, while adding to his good looks (Grandfather believed a tail would add to anyone’s good looks), also served as a third hand. He could use it to hang from a branch; and it was capable of scooping up any delicacy that might be out of reach of his hands.
Here are the meanings of some difficult words and phrases from the given passage:
- Tonga-driver: A tonga is a horse-drawn carriage used for transportation in some parts of India. A tonga-driver refers to the person who drives or operates the tonga.
- Feeding-trough: A feeding-trough is a container or a long open box used to hold food for animals.
- Out of place: Something or someone that looks out of place seems unusual or inappropriate in a particular setting or context.
- Private zoo: A private zoo refers to a collection of animals owned and maintained by an individual or a family on their personal property.
- Mischief: Mischief refers to playful or mildly mischievous behaviour, often involving small pranks or tricks.
- Deep-set: Deep-set refers to having eyes that are set deeply in the sockets, creating a sunken or prominent appearance.
- Pearly white: Pearly white describes something that is very white, like the colour of pearls.
- Elderly: Elderly refers to people who are advanced in age, typically associated with being older or senior citizens.
- Anglo-Indian: Anglo-Indian refers to a person of mixed British and Indian ancestry or a person of British origin who resides in India.
- Pickled: Pickled here is used metaphorically to describe the appearance of Toto’s hands. It means that they look shrivelled or dried-up, as if they had been preserved in a pickling solution.
- Wicked: In this context, wicked means mischievous or naughty, often with a sense of playfulness.
- Delicacy: Delicacy refers to something that is particularly pleasing or appealing, often related to food or treats that are considered rare, expensive, or luxurious.
- Scooping up: Scooping up means using a scooping or grasping motion to gather or collect something, usually with the hand or a tool.
- Out of reach: Something that is out of reach is inaccessible or unable to be touched or grasped.
A few hours later, when Grandfather and I came back to release Toto, we found that the walls, which had been covered with some ornamental paper chosen by Grandfather, now stood out as naked brick and plaster. The peg in the wall had been wrenched from its socket, and my school blazer, which had been hanging there, was in shreds. I wondered what Grandmother would say. But Grandfather didn’t worry; he seemed pleased with Toto’s performance.
“He’s clever,” said Grandfather. “Given time, I’m sure he could have tied the torn pieces of your blazer into a rope, and made his escape from the window!”
- Ornamental: Ornamental refers to something that is used for decoration or embellishment, often for aesthetic purposes rather than practicality.
- Naked brick and plaster: Naked brick and plaster describe the exposed and bare surfaces of the walls without any covering or decorative finish.
- Wrenched: Wrenched means forcefully or violently pulled or twisted, often resulting in damage or displacement.
- Socket: A socket refers to a hollow or recessed area into which an object, such as a peg, can be inserted or fitted.
- Shreds: Shreds are small, torn, or shredded pieces of something, usually indicating that the item has been ripped or torn into many small fragments.
- Pleased: satisfied, content, or happy about something.
- Performance: Performance here refers to the actions or behaviour displayed by Toto, particularly in causing damage to the wall and the narrator’s blazer.
- Clever: intelligent, quick-witted, or resourceful in solving problems or accomplishing tasks.
- Escape: getting away or breaking free from a confined or restricted space.
His presence in the house still a secret, Toto was now transferred to a big cage in the servants’ quarters where a number of Grandfather’s pets lived very sociably together — a tortoise, a pair of rabbits, a tame squirrel and, for a while, my pet goat. But the monkey wouldn’t allow any of his companions to sleep at night; so Grandfather, who had to leave Dehra Dun next day to collect his pension in Saharanpur, decided to take him along.
- Secret: kept hidden or unknown from others.
- Transferred: to move or relocate something or someone from one place to another.
- Quarters: Quarters here refers to a designated area or living space within a larger building, typically used to accommodate servants or staff.
- Sociably: in a friendly or sociable manner, indicating that the pets in the servants’ quarters lived together harmoniously and interacted well with each other.
- Tame: Tame refers to an animal that has been domesticated or trained
- Companions: individuals or animals that accompany or associate with one another.
- Decided to take him along: Grandfather’s decision to bring Toto with him to Saharanpur instead of leaving him behind in the servants’ quarters.
Unfortunately, I could not accompany Grandfather on that trip, but he told me about it afterwards. A big black canvas kit-bag was provided for Toto. This, with some straw at the bottom, became his new abode. When the bag was closed, there was no escape. Toto could not get his hands through the opening, and the canvas was too strong for him to bite his way through. His efforts to get out only had the effect of making the bag roll about on the floor or occasionally jump into the air — an exhibition that attracted a curious crowd of onlookers on the Dehra Dun railway platform.
Toto remained in the bag as far as Saharanpur, but while Grandfather was producing his ticket at the railway turnstile, Toto suddenly poked his head out of the bag and gave the ticket collector a wide grin.
- Accompany: to go together
- Afterwards: at a later time
- Canvas kit-bag: A canvas kit-bag refers to a large bag made of sturdy canvas fabric, typically used for carrying personal belongings or items during travel.
- Abode: a place of residence or dwelling, where someone lives or stays.
- Opening: entrance of the canvas kit-bag through which Toto couldn’t get his hands.
- Bite his way through: Refers to Toto’s attempt to gnaw or chew through the canvas material of the bag in order to escape.
- Efforts: attempts
- Roll about: to move or roll around, typically in a disorganized or erratic manner.
- Jump into the air: Refers to the bag suddenly leaping or bouncing off the ground, possibly due to Toto’s movements inside.
- Exhibition: a public display or performance that attracts attention or interest from people.
- Onlookers: Onlookers are people who observe or watch an event or situation without directly participating.
- Turnstile: A turnstile is a mechanical gate or barrier that allows the passage of individuals through a restricted area, typically in places like railway stations, stadiums, or amusement parks.
- Grin: Grin refers to a broad smile or expression of amusement or satisfaction, often involving showing one’s teeth.
The poor man was taken aback; but, with great presence of mind and much to Grandfather’s annoyance, he said, “Sir, you have a dog with you. You’ll have to pay for it accordingly.”
In vain did Grandfather take Toto out of the bag; in vain did he try to prove that a monkey did not qualify as a dog, or even as a quadruped. Toto was classified a dog by the ticket-collector; and three rupees was the sum handed over as his fare.
Then Grandfather, just to get his own back, took from his pocket our pet tortoise, and said, “What must I pay for this, since you charge for all animals?
- Taken aback: to be surprised, shocked
- Presence of mind: Presence of mind refers to the ability to think quickly and clearly, especially in difficult or unexpected situations.
- Annoyance: a feeling of irritation or frustration.
- In vain: without success or achieving the desired outcome.
- Qualify: Qualify means to meet the necessary conditions or requirements for a particular status or classification.
- Quadruped: Quadruped refers to an animal with four legs
- Classified: Classified means to categorize or assign a specific class, category, or group.
- Fare: fee or payment required for transportation and journey by train, bus etc.
- Handed over: to give or deliver something to someone.
- Get his own back: to seek revenge or retaliate against someone for a previous action or annoyance.
- Charge: Charge here refers to the amount of money required to be paid for using something
The ticket-collector looked closely at the tortoise, prodded it with his forefinger, gave Grandfather a pleased and triumphant look, and said, “No charge. It is not a dog.”
When Toto was finally accepted by Grandmother, he was given a comfortable home in the stable, where he had for a companion the family donkey, Nana. On Toto’s first night in the stable, Grandfather paid him a visit to see if he was comfortable. To his surprise he found Nana, without apparent cause, pulling at her halter and trying to keep her head as far as possible from a bundle of hay.
- Ticket-collector: the person responsible for checking and collecting tickets on public transportation, such as trains.
- Prodded: to poke or jab at something or someone with a pointed object or one’s finger.
- Forefinger: the index finger located next to the thumb
- Pleased: feeling satisfied, content, or happy
- Triumphant: feeling a sense of victory, success, or achievement.
- No charge: not requiring any payment or fee.
- Companion: person or animal that accompanies or keeps someone company.
- Stable: A stable is a building or structure where animals, such as horses or donkeys, are kept and housed.
- Nana: Nana is the name given to the family donkey in this context.
- Comfortable: providing a state of physical ease, relaxation, or contentment.
- Visit: Visit means to go and spend time with someone or something in a particular place.
- Aversion: a strong dislike or distaste towards something or someone.
- Halter: A halter is a type of headgear or a harness worn by animals, typically used to lead or control their movement.
- Bundle of hay: A bundle of hay refers to a compacted collection of dried grass or straw used as animal feed.
Grandfather gave Nana a slap across her haunches, and she jerked back, dragging Toto with her. He had fastened on to her long ears with his sharp little teeth.
Toto and Nana never became friends. A great treat for Toto during cold winter evenings was the large bowl of warm water given him by Grandmother for his bath. He would cunningly test the temperature with his hand, then gradually step into the bath, first one foot, then the other (as he had seen me doing), until he was into the water up to his neck. Once comfortable, he would take the soap in his hands or feet, and rub himself all over. When the water became cold, he would get out and run as quickly as he could to the kitchen-fire in order to dry himself. If anyone laughed at him during this performance, Toto’s feelings would be hurt and he would refuse to go on with his bath. One day Toto nearly succeeded in boiling himself alive
- Haunches: the back end or hindquarters of an animal, including the hip and thigh area.
- Slap: a sharp, quick blow or strike delivered with an open hand.
- Jerked back: to suddenly move backward or be pulled backward with a quick, abrupt motion.
- Dragging: pulling forcefully or with difficulty.
- Fastened on: attached or clamped onto something securely.
- Long ears: long ears of Nana, the donkey.
- Sharp little teeth: the small, sharp teeth of Toto, the monkey.
- Became friends: developing a friendly relationship or bond.
- Treat: A treat refers to something enjoyable or special, often as a reward or indulgence.
- Winter evenings: the evenings during the winter season.
- Cunningly: in a clever or sly manner, with intelligence and strategy.
- Temperature: the degree of hotness or coldness of something
- Gradually: slowly or in small increments, with a gentle progression or change.
- Kitchen-fire: Kitchen-fire refers to the fire or heat source in the kitchen used for cooking or heating.
- Performance: Performance refers to an act or display of a particular action or behaviour.
- Boiling himself alive: Boiling himself alive means being in extremely hot water or heat, to the point of endangering or harming oneself.
A large kitchen kettle had been left on the fire to boil for tea and Toto, finding himself with nothing better to do, decided to remove the lid. Finding the water just warm enough for a bath, he got in, with his head sticking out from the open kettle. This was just fine for a while, until the water began to boil. Toto then raised himself a little; but, finding it cold outside, sat down again. He continued hopping up and down for some time, until Grandmother arrived and hauled him, half-boiled, out of the kettle.
- Kitchen kettle: A kitchen kettle refers to a large pot or container used for boiling water or preparing hot beverages, such as tea.
- Lid: A lid is a cover or top that fits over the opening of a container or vessel to keep its contents enclosed.
- Warm enough: Warm enough refers to the water being at a suitable or comfortable temperature.
- Head sticking out: Head sticking out refers to Toto’s head remaining outside the kettle while the rest of his body is inside the water.
- Just fine: satisfactory or acceptable.
- Raised himself a little: Raised himself a little means lifting or elevating his body slightly.
- Hopping up and down: repeatedly jumping or bouncing.
- Hauled: Hauled means forcefully or vigorously pulling or dragging something or someone.
- Half-boiled: partially cooked or heated through boiling.
If there is a part of the brain especially devoted to mischief, that part was largely developed in Toto. He was always tearing things to pieces. Whenever one of my aunts came near him, he made every effort to get hold of her dress and tear a hole in it.
One day, at lunch-time, a large dish of pullao stood in the centre of the dining-table. We entered the room to find Toto stuffing himself with rice. My grandmother screamed — and Toto threw a plate at her. One of my aunts rushed forward — and received a glass of water in the face. When Grandfather arrived, Toto picked up the dish of pullao and made his exit through a window. We found him in the branches of the jackfruit tree, the dish still in his arms. He remained there all afternoon, eating slowly through the rice, determined on finishing every grain. And then, in order to spite Grandmother, who had screamed at him, he threw the dish down from the tree, and chattered with delight when it broke into a hundred pieces.
- Devoted: dedicated, committed, or focused on something or someone.
- Mischief: playful or mischievous behaviour, often involving pranks, tricks.
- Tearing things to pieces: the act of forcefully ripping or shredding objects or items.
- Get hold of: to grab, catch or seize something or someone.
- Tear a hole in it: Tear a hole in it refers to ripping or damaging a fabric or material, creating a hole in it.
- Dish of pullao: A dish of pullao refers to a serving dish containing pullao, a type of flavoured rice dish often cooked with meat and spices.
- Stuffing himself: eating voraciously or consuming food quickly and in large quantities.
- Screamed: to make a loud and high-pitched cry or shout, often due to fear, surprise, or distress.
- Rushed forward: to move quickly or hastily towards something or someone.
- Received a glass of water in the face: to have water thrown or splashed onto one’s face.
- Made his exit: to leave or depart from a place or situation.
- Chattered with delight: to make excited or joyful sounds expressing happiness or pleasure.
- Broke into a hundred pieces: shatter or break apart, resulting in numerous small fragments or shards.
Obviously Toto was not the sort of pet we could keep for long. Even Grandfather realised that. We were not well-to-do, and could not afford the frequent loss of dishes, clothes, curtains and wallpaper. So Grandfather found the tonga-driver, and sold Toto back to him — for only three rupees.
- Sort of: a kind or type of something.
- Well-to-do: prosperous, wealthy
- Afford: Afford means to have enough resources, such as money, to be able to buy or maintain something.
- Frequent loss: the regular occurrence of losing or damaging items.
- Dishes: plates, bowls, or other eating utensils used for serving or consuming food.
- Curtains: pieces of fabric hung to cover windows or divide spaces
- Wallpaper: Wallpaper is a material used to cover and decorate the interior walls of a room.
- Found: Found here means located or discovered.
- Only: Only here emphasizes the low price or value of something.