When the lady came home in the evening, the bear was sitting in his usual place outside his kennel looking very sorry for himself. The lady was still very angry. She went up to him and began to scold him most severely and said he would have to be chained for two more days. The old cook who loved the bear as if he had been her son rushed out from the kitchen very angry.
“What are you scolding him for, missus,” said the cook; “he has been as good as gold the whole day, bless him! He has been sitting here quite still on his haunches as meek as an angel, looking the whole time towards the gate for you to come back.”
After hitting the bear with her umbrella, for having followed her to the forest, the lady continues to visit her sister. On returning from the trip in the evening, she finds the bear at home. She thinks that he had walked back from the forest after the incident. She is still angry with him for ruining her day. She finds him sitting outside his kennel like he normally does. He looks as though he has a sorry face. The lady who still cannot bring herself to forgive him goes over to him and starts scolding him severely. As a punishment for his disobedience, she threatens to keep him chained for two days.
Bear with sorry face
Seeing the lady lose her temper, the cook comes to the bear's rescue. She could not understand as to why the lady is harsh with him. She loved and fed him, the same way she would do to her son. She could not stand the fact the lady would hurt and chain the bear simply for no reason at all. She was totally unaware of the incident that happened in the forest which made the situation even more confusing. She gets angry with the lady for shouting at him.
But when the cook opens her mouth and enquires as to why she is angry, the twist unfolds. The cook informs the lady that he had been on her watch the whole day, and that he had not moved from his usual place. In fact he had stayed there as a good bear, waiting for the lady expectantly. It is then that the readers understand that the lady's pet bear had been in the house all along, and she had mistook an actual bear from the wild, for her bear. If the lady had known this, she would have been scared and would not have reacted to it. She hit him with the umbrella thinking that it was her pet bear. This also goes on to show that human beings are courageous, but it is their thinking that sometimes stops them from being so.
Meanings of difficult words from the paragraph:
|Missus||A form of address to a woman when her name cannot be taken|
|Haunches||The thighs and back considered together|
|Twist||A turn of events|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Honeysuckle. The Bear Story (pp.52-57). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.