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Chapter 8- Mijbil the Otter Interview Questions Answers

Question 1 : What ‘experiment’ did Maxwell think Camusfearna would be suitable for?

Answer 1 : Maxwell had travelled to Southern Iraq in 1956 and he fancied the idea of keeping an otter as a pet instead of a dog. He thought Camusfearna was surrounded by water that was a stone’s throw from its door, so it would be an eminently suitable spot for this ‘experiment’.

Question 2 : Why does he go to Basra? How long does he wait there, and why?

Answer 2 : Maxwell went to Basra to the Consulate-General to collect and answer his mail from Europe. However, his friend’s mail had arrived but that his had not. So he cabled to England and three days later, he even made a phone call which had to be booked 24 hours in advance. On the first day, the line was out of order; on the second day, the exchange was closed for a religious holiday. On the third day, there was another breakdown. His friend had left and the writer arranged to meet him in a week’s time. Finally after five days, his mail arrived. Hence, Maxwell had to wait for five days for arrival of his mail.

Question 3 : How does he get the otter? Does he like it? Pick out the words that tell you this.

Answer 3 :

When the writer’s mail arrived, he took to his bedroom to read. He saw two Arabs squatting on the floor with a sack that squirmed from time to time. They handed him a note which was from his friend which mentioned that he had sent him an otter.
Yes, Maxwell liked it. We know this from his words “An otter fixation” used to describe his feelings towards the otter. He felt the term was used to express his strong attachment towards otters like any other otter owner would feel.

Question 4 : Why was the otter named ‘Maxwell’s otter’?

Answer 4 : An otter was typically called by zoologists as “Lutrogale Perspicillata Maxwelli”, so it was called Maxwell’s otter in short.

Question 5 : Tick the right answer. In the beginning, the otter was :-

Answer 5 :

• aloof and indifferent
• friendly
• hostile

In the beginning, the otter was aloof and indifferent.

Question 6 : What happened when Maxwell took Mijbil to the bathroom? What did it do two days after that?

Answer 6 :

When Maxwell first took Mijbil to the bathroom, the otter first went wild with joy in the water for the first half an hour. He plunged and rolled in it, shooting up and down the length of the bathtub and making enough slosh and splash for a hippo.
After two days, the otter suddenly disappeared from Maxwell’s bedroom and went to the bathroom to play in the water and he was up on the end of the bathtub and fumbling at the chromium taps with his paws. The author watched in amazement how the little creature had turned the tap to produce a trickle of water slowly and after a moment achieved the full flow.

Question 7 : How was Mij to be transported to England?

Answer 7 : Maxwell booked a flight to Paris and from there he would fly to England as British airlines do not allow pets on board. The airline authorities insisted that Mijbil should be packed into an eighteen inches square box, to be carried on the floor near Maxwell’s feet. Hence, he got a box made and an hour before they started and he put Mij into the box so that he would become accustomed to it. He then quickly rushed to get a meal.

Question 8 : What did Mij do to the box?

Answer 8 : The box was lined with a metal sheet, but Mij wasn’t feeling comfortable inside the box and tried to escape from it. In his attempt to escape, Mijbil tore into the metal lining of the box, hurt himself and started bleeding.

Question 9 : Why did Maxwell put the otter back in the box? How do you think he felt when he did this?

Answer 9 : Maxwell knew that there was no other way he could carry Mij to London, so he put the otter back into the box. He was anxious and felt sorry by looking at the otter’s condition as he hurt himself while trying to escape from the box.

Question 10 : Why does Maxwell say the airhostess was “the very queen of her kind”?

Answer 10 : The airhostess was very friendly and showed sympathy to Maxwell after listening to his story. She respected his feelings and concern about the incident with the box and gave him the permission to take the otter out of the box and keep his pet on his knee. Hearing this, the author developed a profound admiration for the kind lady and referred her as “the very queen of her kind”.



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