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The Bond Of Love

07 The Bond Of Love

“The Bond of Love” is a fascinating account of an orphaned sloth bear that was rescued by the author and gifted to his wife as a pet. The bear’s intelligence, playful nature, memory and sense of affection won everyone’s heart, especially that of the author’s wife.

The contents of the story focus on the love and affection between human beings and animals. The narrator, through the medium of his wife and her pet sloth bear, reveals that love transcends even the barrier of species. Pets reared with sincere love and affection develop an unbreakable bond with their human caretakers.

The author has clearly brought out the theme as the bond we have with the wild and the bond that the wild keeps with us. Since times immemorial, animals have always been our friends. It is we humans, that have caused them harm and destruction with our vile intentions. We need not categorise these mute creatures according to their habitat or nature. It is the bond of love that makes animals more loveable than any other human on the planet.

Meanings of words and phrases

  • scooted: move quickly
  • scruff: the back of an animal’s neck
  • christened: name someone
  • porridge: a dish consisting of oatmeal or another meal or cereal boiled in water or milk
  • condiments: substances such as salt, mustard, or pickle that is used to add flavour to food
  • aerated: a drink which had gas added to liquid
  • pork: the flesh of a pig used as food
  • relish: eat something with great enjoyment
  • Paralysis: the loss of the ability to move in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness, poison, or injury
  • stumps: knees
  • feverish: an activity done extremely quickly, often in a state of nervousness
  • symptoms: a physical or mental feature which is regarded as indicating a condition of disease
  • dash: a quick run
  • floundering: to move awkwardly
  • Flanks: side of an animal’s body between the ribs and the hip
  • gaping: wide open
  • hypodermic: introduction of medicine or drugs under the skin
  • antidote: a medicine taken or given to counteract a particular poison
  • stertorous: noisy and laboured breathing
  • disdainfully: the feeling of not liking someone or something and thinking that they do not deserve your interest or respect
  • Sump: a hole or container, especially in the lower part of an engine, into which a liquid that is not needed can flow
  • Studebaker: an American wagon and automobile of the same make
  • inroads: a hostile raid
  • vigorously: in a way that involves physical strength, effort, or energy; strenuously
  • tackled: to seize, take hold of, or grapple especially with the intention of stopping or subduing
  • cradled: hold gently and protectively
  • concealed: hidden
  • relieved: to make something less severe or more bearable
  • inconsolable: grief not able to be comforted
  • curator: a keeper or custodian of a museum or other collection
  • restrain: to prevent someone from doing something
  • conjectured: form an opinion or supposition about something on the basis of incomplete information
  • howled: to make a loud noise
  • petted: to stroke or pat an animal affectionately
  • reconciled: accept something with a hint of reluctance
  • consented: to agree to do something
  • accomplished: complete a task successfully
  • squad: a group
  • Moat: a deep, wide ditch surrounding an area, typically filled with water
  • sentimentally: strongly influenced by emotional feelings
  • gnarled: knotty and twisted, as the trunk of an old tree

Character Sketch

Author/ Kenneth Anderson:

In the story, the narrator was a hunter by profession. But he was good and compassionate at heart. Also, he is a loving husband. When he saw his wife fretting after being separated from Bruno, he takes her to visit him at the zoo. He even reconciles with her decision to bring him back home.

Narrator’s wife

At the first look of it, we understand that the narrator’s wife has a special liking towards animals. She greets Bruno with a lot of love and affection. She even names him Baba probably because she considers him as her own baby boy. They develop a strong sense of attachment, so much so that when Bruno is sent to the zoo, both of the fret and refuse to eat food. In spite of the author’s restrain she decides to visit Bruno at the zoo. Eventually, with the permission of the superintendent she brings Bruno back home.

Bruno/ Baba, the sloth bear

Bruno is an extremely playful and fun loving bear. He is a voracious eater too. He is also an intelligent creature given the fact that he has learnt to accept commands and act on them. When he is sent to the zoo, he refuses to eat. And when the author’s wife visited him in the zoo, even before she could reach the cage, Baba saw her and recognised her. Thus it is evident that his reciprocation to the affection of the author’s wife is as same as hers, if not more.

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