Grandfather: Grandfather was a lover of animals. He had put up a zoo in his house where he had a number of animals and reared them with care and affection. He brings home a monkey caned Toto. But since the monkey is a wild animal he could not have a peaceful life. So Toto had to be returned to its previous owner.
Toto, the monkey: Toto was a beautiful, little monkey. He was with a tonga driver. Grandfather took pity on him and brought him home. He created a lot of mischiefs and brought so much trouble in the house. He tore clothes and disturbed other animals in grandfather’s zoo. So grandfather had to give him back to the tonga-driver.
Toto is a baby monkey who is bought for five rupees from a tonga-driver by the narrator’s Grandfather. Toto is pretty to look at. He has bright eyes that sparkle with mischief. His eyebrows are deep-set. His pearly white teeth frighten the elderly Anglo-Indian ladies when he smiles. His hands are dried up as if they have been pickled under the sun. He is quick with his fingers and lifts things in a wicked manner. His tail adds to his beauty and acts as his third hand. He hangs from trees and scoops out goodies with his tail. He is playful and restless, that is why he cannot be kept under hiding for long. He is destructive too as he tears away the narrator’s blazer and wallpaper of the bedroom. He is a total misfit with other animals and does not let them sleep. He bites Nana, the donkey, and never becomes friends with him.
Toto is keenly observant as he imitates the narrator’s manner of taking bath. He loves warm baths in cold winters but is very sensitive if anyone laughs at his act of drying himself after a bath. He is curious by nature and lands in trouble because of this. The episode when he almost boils himself alive is an example. His mischievousness is the prime trait that makes it difficult to keep him as a pet. He causes a lot of damage by destroying or spoiling things. Still, his adventures are funny and make the reader laugh every time.
Grandfather is a lover of animals. So much so that he has his own private zoo. He does not mind spending money in order to get animals and birds even though this practice involves the risk of annoying his wife. He already has a tortoise, a pair of rabbits, and a squirrel when he spends five rupees to buy a baby monkey. He has an appreciative eye for animals, that is why he believes that a tail adds to anyone’s good looks. He finds a valid reason to continue keeping pets even if that leads to material loss. He does not mind when Toto destroys the wallpaper and the narrator’s school blazer. Instead, he finds it as an act of cleverness. He is a smart man, for he devises various ways of hiding Toto.
Foolish behaviour annoys Grandfather; like that of the ticket-collector who calls Toto a dog and charges fare for it. Grandfather is both witty and sarcastic because he asks the ticket-collector to charge him even for a tortoise that he had carried in his pocket.
Grandfather may be a staunch animal-lover but he is also wise. He accepts that it is not possible to keep a destructive animal like Toto as a pet for long, so he sells the monkey back to the tonga-driver even if that incurred him a loss of two rupees. His childlike nature endears him both to the narrator and the reader.