CBSE Class 7 English Chapter 8 The Bear Story Summary, Explanation, Question Answers from An Alien Hand Book 

 

 
The Bear Story Class 7 NCERT Class 7 English An Alien Hand book Lesson 8 The Bear Story Summary and Detailed explanation of the lesson along with the meanings of difficult words. Also, the explanation is followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Questions and Answers given at the back of the lesson have been covered. Take Free Online MCQs Test for Class 7 Click Here
 
 

The Bear Story Introduction

 

This story is about a lady and a cook who brought up a baby bear, the bear who grew up to be the most friendly bear ever seen.
 

 

The Bear Story Class 7 Video Explanation


 

 
 

The Bear Story Summary

 

Once upon a time, there was an old manor-house on the border of a big forest, in which a lady used to live. The lady had a pet bear which she had found half dead due to starvation in the forest. The small and helpless bear, which had to be brought up by the lady and her old cook, grew up into a big and strong bear. He had the strength to defeat creatures of massive size and weight, but he was not interested in violence. In fact, the bear was the most amiable bear to ever exist. He had small intelligent eyes. He had a good bond with numerous other animals and humans – mountain ponies, children and dogs. The three dogs he was friends with used to play with and tease him, but the bear did not mind it. He had never eaten or even tasted meat, and would eat bread, porridge, potato, cabbage and turnip. The cook was the bear’s friend, and she would be very particular that the bear’s stomach was full. Bears are vegetarians if they get something vegetarian to eat, and they like fruits the most. In the autumn season, the bear used to sit and look at the apples in the orchard. He would sometimes climb the tree and grab a handful of apples. But he had stopped doing that when he learnt that it was against the law. The bear had caused some difficulties with a beehive. He was punished for this by being put on a chain. Otherwise, he was never chained up. When he was chained up, he would get ill-tempered like any other animal. He was also chained up on Sundays, when her mistress would visit her married sister’s house. She would not take the bear along because he would make the journey towards the house difficult. However, he could not be given the freedom to roam about in the forest as he could get tempted to harm the other animals of the forest. One Sunday, the mistress was on her way to the sister’s house when she heard a tree-branch crack. She looked behind and was horrified to see that the bear was coming towards her at top speed. The bear stopped and panted and sniffed her. The lady strictly told the bear to go back to the manor-house but the bear did not listen. The lady got angry because she was late for lunch, she could not go back to the manor-house and tie the bear with the chain again and she could not let the bear roam in the forest or come with her. She then noticed that the bear had lost its new collar. She got so furious that she hit him on the nose with her umbrella with such strength that the umbrella broke in two pieces. The bear understood that the lady was annoyed with him and he returned to the manor-house. In the evening, when the mistress returned to the manor-house, she was still angry with the bear. She was scolding him when the old cook came out running. The cook always thought the bear to be her son, so she was angry to see that the mistress was scolding someone who was always so obedient, amiable and caring. 
 

 
 

The Bear Story Explanation

 

There was once a lady who lived in an old manor-house on the border of a big forest. This lady had a pet bear she was very fond of. It had been found in the forest, half dead of hunger, so small and helpless that it had to be brought up on the bottle by the lady and the old cook. This was several years ago and now it had grown up to a big bear, so big and strong that he could have slain a cow and carried it away between his two paws if he had wanted to. But he did not want to; he was a most amiable bear who did not dream of harming anybody, man or beast. He used to sit outside his kennel and look with his small intelligent eyes most amicably at the cattle grazing in the field nearby. The three shaggy mountain ponies in the stable knew him well and did not mind in the least when he shuffled into the stable with his mistress. The children used to ride on his back and had more than once been found asleep in his kennel between his two paws. The three dogs loved to play all sorts of games with him, pull his ears and his stump of a tail and tease him in every way, but he did not mind it in the least. He had never tasted meat; he ate the same food as the dogs and often out of the same plate—bread, porridge, potato, cabbage, turnip. He had a fine appetite, and his friend, the cook, saw to it that he got his fill. Bears are vegetarians if they have a chance, and fruit is what they like best. In the autumn he used to sit and look with wistful eyes at the ripening apples in the orchard, and in his young days he had been sometimes unable to resist the temptation to climb the tree and help himself to a handful of them. Bears look clumsy and slow in their movements, but try a bear with an apple tree and you will soon find out that he can easily beat any school boy at that game. Now he had learnt that it was against the law, but he kept his small eyes wide open for any apples that fell to the ground. There had also been some difficulties about the beehives; he had been punished for this by being put on the chain for two days with a bleeding nose and he had never done it again. Otherwise he was never put on the chain except for the night and quite rightly so, for a bear, like a dog, is apt to get somewhat ill-tempered if kept on the chain, residential placeand no wonder.

manor: the main residential place of a feudal lord

fond: attached to something or someone

slain: past tense of slay, killed

amiable: friendly

kennel: a place where only pets are kept

amicably: friendly and peacefully

shaggy: messy-looking

stable: place where horses are kept

stump: short and thick

fine: top-quality

orchard: an area covered with fruit trees

wistfully: full of desire and sadness

temptation: desire

clumsy: awkward in movement or in handling things.

apt: appropriate, suitable

ill-tempered: angry or grumpy

Once upon a time, there was a lady who lived in an old manor-house. The lady was probably a feudal lord as she lived in a manor. The manor-house was located on the border of a big forest. A few years ago, the lady had found a baby bear in the jungle. The baby bear was small. It needed help as it was half dead due to hunger. It was brought up with the help of a bottle, which was provided by the lady and her old cook. Since then the baby bear was kept in the house and had become the pet bear of the lady. The lady had become attached to the bear. After several years passed away, the bear was no longer the small and helpless baby it once was. It had grown up to be a big bear who was so powerful that he could kill a cow and carry it between his two enormous paws. However, the bear did not have a violent and cruel nature. In fact, he was so friendly that he would not even dream of harming anyone, whether it is a human or an animal. He had his own pet house. He used to sit outside his pet-house or kennel and would look in a friendly and peaceful manner with his small intelligent eyes at the cattles grazing in a nearby field. There was a place where three mountain ponies used to stay who knew the bear well. They were never angry or irritated when the bear would use the stable. The children used to take piggyback rides on his back and sometimes, they were found to be asleep between the paws of the bear. There were three dogs who loved to play a variety of games with him. They would pull his ears and his thick, short tail, and all sorts of things in order to tease him. But the bear did not mind it in the least. He had never eaten or even tasted meat. His diet was pure vegetarian and consisted of potatoes, turnips, porridge and cabbage. Most people think that bears eat meat but that was not true. Bears are vegetarians, but if they have no choice but to eat meat they would do so just for the sake of remaining alive. Bears love fruits, and in the case of the bear in the bear story, he really loved apples. There was an apple orchard near the manor-house. In the autumn season, he would look at the ripening apples with a desire to eat them. When he was younger, he would be unable to fight the burning desire and would climb the apple trees and grab a handful of apples. Bears look quite strange when they move, but they are graceful like a school going boy when climbing a tree. They can easily defeat a school boy at the sport of tree-climbing. However, he could not climb the trees any more as he had learnt that it was against the law. So, he kept his eyes on any apples that might have fallen from the tree. He had also gotten into some difficulties with beehives. He was punished for it by being chained up for two days and he got a bleeding nose too. He was quite irritated during those two days, which was a natural response because it is suitable for any living organism to be angry or sad when imprisoned. 

He was also put on the chain on Sundays when his mistress went to spend the afternoon with her married sister who lived in a solitary house on the other side of the mountain-lake, a good hour’s walk through the dense forest. It was not supposed to be good for him to wander about in the forest with all its temptations; it was better to be on the safe side. He was also a bad sailor and had once taken such a fright at a sudden gust of wind that he had upset the boat and he and his mistress had to swim to the shore. Now he knew quite well what it meant when his mistress put him on the chain on Sundays, with a friendly tap on his head and the promise of an apple on her return if he had been good during her absence. He was sorry but resigned, like a good dog, when his mistress tells him he cannot come with her for a walk. 

mistress: a woman in a position of authority or control.

solitary: something or someone who is alone or empty

dense: thick

wander: roam here and there

sailor: someone who goes sailing

gust: blow

resigned: having accepted something unpleasant that one cannot do anything about.

The bear was tied with chains on Sundays. On Sundays, the lady of the manor-house, the woman in control of the bear, would go to her married sister to spend the afternoon. Her married sister lived in a house which was usually empty. It was located on the other side of the mountain-lake. The lady had to walk through the thick forest for an hour to be able to reach her married sister’s house. Since the forest was full of fruit trees and different kinds of animals, it was not good for a bear to roam here and there in the forest while the lady, who was incharge of the bear, was away.  It was better for the lady to be with the bear at all times so that something bad would not happen. He was not good at sailing, and he was afraid of strong winds. One day, when the lady and the bear had gone sailing, the sudden blow of wind frightened the bear so much that he damaged the boat. The damage was so much that the boat overturned and they had to swim to the shore. Because of all these experiences, the bear now knew very well the reason why his mistress would chain him on Sundays. The lady would tap on his head in a friendly manner. She promised to give him an apple on her return if he had been good and obedient in her absence. He felt sorry for himself but accepted his unpleasant fate instead of doing something against it. He was obedient like a good dog whenever his mistress would tell him to not come with her for the walk even though he really wanted to go with her.

the ladyOne Sunday when the lady had chained him up as usual and was about half-way through the forest, she suddenly thought she heard the cracking of a tree-branch on the winding footpath behind her. She looked back and was horrified to see the bear coming along full speed. Bears look as if they move along quite slowly but they shuffle along much faster than a trotting horse. In a minute he had joined her, panting and sniffing, to take up his usual place, dog-fashion, at her heels. The lady was very angry, she was already late for lunch, there was no time to take him back home, she did not want him to come with her, and, besides, it was very naughty of him to have disobeyed her. She told him in her severest voice to go back at once, menacing him with her parasol. He stopped a moment and looked at her with his cunning eyes, but did not want to go back and kept on sniffing at her. When the lady saw that he had even lost his new collar, she got still more angry and hit him on the nose with her parasol so hard that it broke in two. He stopped again, shook his head and opened his big mouth several times as if he wanted to say something. Then he turned round and began to shuffle back the way he had come, stopping now and then to look at the lady till at last she lost sight of him. 

cracking: break or cause to break without a complete separation of the parts.

winding: full of twists and turns

horrified: filled with horror; extremely shocked.

shuffle along: to move while a slow dragging movement

trotting: proceed or cause to proceed at a pace faster than a walk, lifting each diagonal pair of legs alternately.

panting: gulping air due to tiredness

sniffing: smelling

dog-fashion: a behaviour seen in dogs

severest: in a very strict and cold manner

menacing: threatening 

parasol: umbrella 

cunning: clever, smart, intelligent

One Sunday, something unexpected happened. When the mistress had chained the bear as usual and had completed half of the journey, she suddenly thought she heard the sound of a tree-branch breaking. When she looked back, she was filled with horror as she saw the bear coming towards her at full speed. Even though bears look slow when they move, their actual speed is faster than that of a horse walking at a fast pace. In a minute, the bear had joined her. He was panting and sniffing because he was moving so fast, there was a lack of oxygen in him. He stood beside the lady in his usual manner, and the way he stood looked like how a dog would normally stand up. The lady was very angry. She was already late for lunch but she could not go to the house with the bear. There was no time to take the bear back to the manor-house. She felt that the bear was being very naughty and disobedient. She told him strictly that he had to go back to the manor-house. She even threatened to hit him with her umbrella. But it did not work. The bear stopped for a moment and looked at her with his intelligent eyes. He then went back to sniffing her.  Then the lady saw that the bear had lost his new collar. This made her even more angry. She became so angry that she hit the bear on the nose with the umbrella with such strength that the umbrella broke in two pieces. He again stopped sniffing, shook his head and opened his mouth as if he were trying to say something. He then turned around and went back to the manor-house on the path he had used to come to the lady. He would stop now and then to turn and look at the lady, until the bear had gone so far away that the lady lost sight of him.

old cook and the ladyWhen 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.

Then came the evening, the time of the day when the lady would come back home to the manor-house. She saw that the bear was sitting in his usual place that was outside his kennel. He was looking very sorry for himself, meaning that he was hurt by the lady’s actions. But the lady could not see this. She went up to the bear and began scolding him in the most strict way. She said that he would be chained for two more days. As she was scolding him, the old cook came rushing out of the kitchen. The old cook loved the bear as if he were her own son. So, she was very angry to see that the lady was scolding him.

 

“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.”

missus: used as a form of address to a woman whose name is not known, married woman

haunches: a buttock and thigh considered together, in a human or animal.

meek: quiet and gentle

The cook asked the lady the reason why she was scolding the bear. She referred to the lady as ‘missus’ which is the expanded form of ‘Mrs’. It was the way the old cook called the lady. The cook told the lady that the bear was being really obedient and as good as gold. She wished that God may bless him for his good behaviour. She said that the bear had been sitting outside the kennel on his buttock and thighs. She meant that the bear had not moved all day. He was being patient and gentle as he waited for the lady to come back home. His actions reminded the old cook of an angel.
 

 
 

The Bear Story Question and Answers

 

Q. Answer the following questions.

Q1. Where did the lady find the bear cub? How did she bring it up?

Ans. The lady found the bear cub on the border of a big forest. Since the bear cub was half-dead due to hunger, she brought it up by putting the cub on a bottle with the help of her old cook.

 

Q2. The bear grew up but “he was a most amiable bear”. Give three examples to prove this.

Ans. The bear grew up to be the most amiable bear ever seen. He would go to a stable with his mistress where three mountain ponies were kept. The mountain ponies knew the bear very well and would not mind it if the bear would use their living place. There were three dogs which loved to play all sorts of games with the bear. They would pull his ears and the stump of his tail, but these teasings would not irritate the bear at all. The bear was friendly towards all living beings – human or beast. Children used to take piggyback rides on the bear. More than once, children were found to be asleep between the bear’s paws. 

 

Q3. What did the bear eat? There were two things he was not allowed to do. What were they? 

Ans. The bear was a vegetarian. He would eat porridge, bread, cabbages, potatoes and turnips. 

There were two things he was not allowed to do. Those were – climbing apple trees and plucking and eating the apples, and going to the forest to walk on his own.

 

Q4. When was the bear tied up with a chain? Why?

Ans. The bear was tied up with a chain in two incidents. In the first incident, he got into some problems related to the beehives, in which he also got a bleeding nose as an injury. He was chained up as a punishment for getting into trouble. Secondly, he was put on a chain on Sundays, when his mistress would go to her married sister’s house for the afternoon. The bear was not allowed to move without the lady being with him because he could roam into the forest, get into trouble with another animal  or he could be tempted to eat the vegetation in the forest.

 

Q5. What happened one Sunday when the lady was going to her sister’s house? What did the lady do? What was the bear’s reaction?

Ans. One Sunday, the lady was walking towards her sister’s house after chaining up the bear as usual when she heard a tree-branch getting cracked. She turned around and what she saw horrified her. The bear was coming towards her at full speed. He had run away from the house and had disobeyed the mistress. 

The lady was furious at the bear’s actions, and she was now in a helpless position. She ordered in her severest voice to him to go back to the manor-house and threatened to hit him with her parasol, but the bear did not listen to her. She was late for lunch, she did not have the time to take the bear back home and she did not want the bear to come with her. The bear would always make her journey more difficult so did not let him come with her. She then saw the bear’s new collar was missing too. She became so frustrated that she took her parasol and hit it on the bear’s nose. She hit it so hard that the parasol broke into two pieces.

At first, the bear kept on sniffing her. He did stop for a moment when the lady ordered and threatened him, but he then continued sniffing her. However, after getting hit on the nose with the parasol, he stopped sniffing, shook his head and opened his mouth in a way that looked like he wanted to say something. He then began going back to the manor-house, and would look back at the lady now and then until the lady could not see him any more.

 

Q6. Why was the bear looking sorry for himself in the evening? Why did the cook get angry with her mistress?

Ans. The bear did not want to be chained up. He wanted to go to the forest and roam around with the mistress. However, he did not want to hurt the lady’s feelings nor he wanted to be aggressive. So, he felt sorry for himself because he was not free to do what he wanted to do.

The cook could see what the bear felt. Since she treated the bear like her own son, she felt angry to see that the mistress was scolding him even though he was so sad and well-behaved. So, she came running out of the kitchen and spoke with her mistress, explaining to her that she had no reason to scold the bear and that he was behaving as good as gold and had been as meek as an angel.