“R K Narayan’s Attila”.R.K. Narayan’s “Attila” is a delightful short story that explores the humorous and ironic events surrounding a family’s expectations of their dog, Attila. This story, rich in wit and satire, delves into the mismatched perceptions and realities of owning a pet, particularly a dog named after the infamous ‘Scourge of Europe’. Let’s dive into a comprehensive analysis of this narrative to understand its key themes and characters.

Illustration of a large, friendly dog named Attila with a welcoming expression, standing in front of a modest Indian house. The family looks on with mixed expressions of amusement and frustration, highlighting the humor and irony of R.K. Narayan's story, "Attila."


A. Answer these questions:

  1. What kind of a dog did the speaker’s family want?
    The speaker’s family wanted a dog that was intimidating and formidable in nature. They expected the dog to protect the house from break-ins of any kind.
  2. At the beginning of the narrative, was Attila able to measure up to their expectations? Give reasons for your answer.
    At the beginning of the story, the speaker’s family thought that she lived up to their expectations since she was not charming like most other puppies and also wasn’t really playful.
  3. Why were the family members satisfied with the name Attila?
    The family members felt that the name Attila was the most suited name ever chosen for a dog or for a human. The satisfaction came after they all agreed on the name and shouted in happiness.
  4. Why did the family research about the ‘Scourge of Europe’? What were the findings?
    The family wondered what the ‘Scourge of Europe’ was as a child since their dog Attila showed a sense of love towards humanity. They found out that the Scourge of Europe, as a child, was very clingy to his friends and even his parents’ friends. He often had to be beaten up to be detached from them. He, however, at the age of fourteen beat up someone who tried to touch his marbles.


  1. How did Attila respond to the entry of strangers?
    Attila responded to the entry of strangers by warmly greeting them into the house.
  2. What issues did the speaker’s mother have with the dog?
    The speaker’s mother was unhappy with Attila because he would eat a lot and was also very welcoming to strangers. She feared that someday he would befriend a burglar and get the house robbed.
  3. How did Attila react when Ranga entered the premises?
    When Ranga was done looting the house and was about to exit, Attila put his forepaws on the lap of the burglar and licked his fingers.
  4. How did Attila prove to be a hero?
    Attila’s master saw him and the burglar on the street, he called the dog out. The burglar saw the master too and tried escaping by running. Meanwhile, Attila also began chasing and running after the burglar. He ended up blocking him as well. In this commotion, the burglar fell down and a piece of stolen jewellery fell out of his bag which then led to him being caught by the police.

B. Answer the questions with reference to context:

  1. He gave no hope that he would do credit to his name.
    a. ‘He’ refers to the dog Attila.
    b. His name signifies bravery.
    c. The dog was too friendly to do credit to his name.
  2. The people at home did not like this attitude very much. They thought it rather a shame.
    a. The speaker is talking about Attila.
    b. The dog is too friendly to strangers.
    c. The family expected the dog to be ferocious so that he could protect them.
  3. The young man was extremely irritated at this. He considered it to be the most uncharitable cynicism.
    a. The young man is the dog’s owner.
    b. He was irritated because his mother would say negative things to him about the dog.
    c. The phrase ‘uncharitable cynicism’ means the distrust that a person has for someone else.

Think and answer:“R K Narayan’s Attila”

  1. The bond between Ranga and Attila was of mutual respect. Why or why not? Give reasons for your answer.
    While Attila wanted to be with Ranga, Ranga did not feel the same way about the dog. Hence, there wasn’t a sense of mutual respect in their relationship.
  2. Dogs make good household pets as they are good companions. In what other ways are dogs helpful to humans? Discuss.
    Dogs are always described as a man’s best friend. They guard houses and also act as great companions. These days many dogs are trained as therapy dogs. Many dogs are trained as police dogs too.
  3. Very often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, or the smallest act of kindness, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Comment on the statement based on the story.
    An act of kindness can be a life-changing point in a person’s life. It can give confidence to a person that he or she had been missing all this while.

Word Wonder:“R K Narayan’s Attila”

A. Fill in the blanks in these sentences using appropriate words from the box:

  1. He took us for a sail up the river.
  2. The boss said that he wanted to hire someone who is qualified.
  3. The teacher asked them to stand in rows.
  4. He tried to wring the clothes dry.
  5. We chose to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  6. I turned as I heard a loud groan.
  7. The captain led his team to victory.
  8. Raina hit the brake in a hurry while driving on the highway.

B. Read these sentences and choose the correct meaning of the highlighted words:

  1. While doing her calculations, she made a minute mistake. – Small.
  2. The thief jumped into the compound with the help of a rope. – An enclosed area.
  3. My mother asked the shopkeeper to give a decent discount. – A reduction in price.
  4. She had to pay a fine for jumping the signal. – A sum of money paid to settle a matter.
  5. The residents will object to the blaring music. – Say something to express one’s opposition.

Learn about language:“R K Narayan’s Attila”

A. Complete the sentences with suitable modals:

  1. I might participate in the street play. (weak possibility)
  2. Can you pass on this bag to my sister? (polite request)
  3. Do not worry. I will get a scholarship. (promise)
  4. The school buses must not be driven rashly. (prohibition)
  5. We have to obey the laws of the land. (obligation)
  6. May I have a glass of water? (request)
  7. I must cook some food before the guests arrive. (necessity)

B. Fill in the blanks with suitable phrases from the box:

  1. The boy in the blue T-shirt is my friend.
  2. Eco-friendly cars running on solar energy help the environment.
  3. The necklace of gold was bought by me.
  4. The girl in the pink-coloured dress is my best friend.
  5. The tree in my garden is blooming with cherry blossoms.
  6. The painting on the wall belongs to my uncle.

C. State whether the highlighted clauses are independent (I) or subordinate (S):

  1. The professor who lives next door to Anuj is Mrs Verma. (S)
  2. The goat will run away if we leave the gate open. (I)
  3. This is the assignment that you missed last week. (S)
  4. Sandeep saw what his friend did, but he ignored it. (S)
  5. The television was switched on when Rakhi dozed off. (I)
  6. We started walking towards home as the lights dimmed. (S)


“R K Narayan’s Attila”.R.K. Narayan’s “Attila” not only provides a humorous take on the expectations versus reality of pet ownership but also subtly critiques human nature and societal norms. Through the story of a seemingly unassuming dog named Attila, Narayan illustrates how true heroism and loyalty can emerge in unexpected ways. This delightful tale continues to resonate with readers, showcasing Narayan’s mastery in blending humor with profound insights into human behavior.

Related Post