English Language & Literature
Chapter 8: Mijbil the Otter
Mijbil the Otter
The story starts with the writer travelling to Basra along with his pal. At some point in their journey, the author expresses his choice to domesticate an otter because after he had lost his pet dog, he feels lonely. His buddy advised that he should get one from the Marshes along river Tigris in Iraq. As they reached the destination, they discovered that only the friend’s mail had arrived. After some days, the buddy left whilst the narrator is still waiting to receive his mail. After receiving it, he went to his room to discover an otter (introduced to him in a sack), accompanied by the aid of Arabs with a message. He named the otter Mijbil, and in short form Mij.
It took some time for Mij to get familiar with his surroundings. Mij cherished playing with water and learned to open the faucet himself. The time is passing smoothly in Basra, however, now it was time to go back to London. As British airlines did not permit animals, so, he had to book some other flight that allowed Mij on a flight, but in a box. The narrator put him in a box an hour before the flight in and left for having a meal. As he comes back, he found that box was still and Mij had created holes and destroyed the internal lining. As a result, blood was coming out of the holes. He became scared and rushed to the airport as its only ten minutes left for the flight to take off.
He cleaned the box and reached the airport on time. Also, he explained the whole incident to the air hostess who suggested him to keep the container on his lap. Gavin was thankful for her kindness towards him. As soon as he opened the container, the otter leapt out and disappeared thereby developing chaos in flight. Passengers had been fearful. The air hostess had taken him again to Gavin and eventually, they reached London. Mij was fond of ping-pong balls and marbles. He even developed recreation with the narrator’s broken suitcase.
The narrator took him to walk and the people of London had wild guesses about the animal. A few people think him to be an infant seal, squirrel or maybe a hippo. The utmost shocking response came from a labourer digging the hole who asked the author, “what’s that purported to be?”
The story explains the bond of the author and his pet otter, and the series of incidences happened during their journey to London.