NCERT English Class 10 Chapter 27 Mijbil the Otter CBSE Board Sample Problems Short Answer

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What guesses did the Londoners make about what Mij was?


  • According to Maxwell, the average Londoner does not recognize an otter.

  • The Londoners who saw Mij made different guesses about who Mij was.

  • They guessed, among other things, that it was a baby seal, a squirrel, a walrus, a hippo, a beaver, a bear cub, a leopard and a brontosaur.


What are ‘compulsive habits’? What does Maxwell say are the compulsive habits of?

(i) School children

(ii) Mij?


  • Compulsive habits are usually strange act or behaviour which a person does without clear reason.

  • On their way to and from school, children make it a habit to place their feet exactly on the centre of each paving block. Similarly, Mij had made it a habit to jump on to the school wall and go galloping all along its length of thirty yards.


What happened when the box was opened?


  • When the box was opened, Mij went out of the box.

  • He disappeared at a high speed down the aircraft.

  • There were cries all around.

  • A woman stood up on her seat screaming that there was a rat.

  • He saw Mij’s tail disappearing beneath the legs of an Indian passenger. He dived for it, but missed. The airhostess suggested him to be seated and that she would find the otter.

  • After a while, Mij had returned to him. It climbed on his knee and began to rub its nose on his face and neck.


Why does Maxwell say the airhostess was “the very queen of her kind”?


  • Maxwell said that the airhostess was “the very queen of her kind” because she was extremely friendly and helpful.

  • He took her into his confidence about the incident with the box.

  • She suggested that he might prefer to have his pet on his knee.

  • Hearing this, he developed a profound admiration for her, for she understood the pain of both the otter and its owner.


Why does Maxwell go to Basra? How long does he wait there, and why?


  • He went to Basra, to the Consulate-General, to collect and answer his mail from Europe.

  • He had had to wait there for five days.

  • To start with his mail didn’t reach on time. Then he tried to make a telephone call.

  • This incident is of those days when one had to book an international call 24 hrs in advance.

  • The telephone line was not working properly on the first day.

  • Next day it was some public holiday so it was not working.

  • Finally after a tortuous wait of five days his mail arrived.