Introduction 

The material is taken from the novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. Tom, a little kid, is the subject of this chapter. Tom is a mischievous youngster who avoids going to school by pulling pranks on his aunt Polly. As Tom’s trick goes wrong and he gets a taste of his own medicine, the chapter takes on a lighter and more comedic tone.

About The Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was an American writer, comic, businessman, publisher, and lecturer who used the pen name Mark Twain. He was named “the father of American literature” by William Faulkner and hailed as the “greatest humourist the United States has produced.” He is well known for writing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). 

Tom’s Pranks

Tom dreads attending school on Monday mornings. Tom was constantly looking for a way to get out of this monotony. He ponders over what may persuade Aunt Polly to let him stay at home. He chooses to use his swollen toe as an excuse. Tom begins to grunt loudly and conveys his discomfort. Sid, his brother, is awakened by Tom’s moaning. Tom decides to terrify Sid by acting more dramatic.

As a result, he begs Sid to tell everyone to forgive him.  On hearing this, Sid goes to bring Aunt Polly. “O, auntie, my sore toe is mortified!” Tom cries. Tom exaggerates his discomfort by using the incorrect term, which makes Aunt Polly chuckle. The conversation demonstrates their affection for each other, and while she should rebuke him, she finds his pranks amusing. Aunt Polly notices his deception and can’t help but giggle.

Tom then informs Aunt Polly that his tooth was actually aching more than his toe. He informs her that his tooth is shaking. She believes the tooth should be pulled out. Tom is afraid, so he insists that the tooth isn’t hurting anymore and that he’ll go to school. But, Aunt Polly ties one end of a thread to his bedstead and the other end to his tooth. He rushes away when she lunges at him with a hot coal, and the string jolts his tooth out. The tooth was hanging against the bedside as she pulled.

Tom could have escaped the excruciating pain of having his tooth extracted if he had just confessed that he was pretending rather than using his tooth as an excuse. Because of the gap left by his missing teeth, Tom developed new spitting skills.