The Bear Story – Summary

The Bear Story is written by Axel Munthe.


A lady lived in the manor-house on the border of a forest. She had a pet bear. It was found in the forest, small, and hungry. She brought it up with the help of the old cook. The little creature grew in size and strength. But he remained gentle, friendly and obedient. The three ponies in the stable knew him well. The children used to ride on his back. The three dogs loved to play games with him, and tease him. He had never tasted meat. He ate the same food as the dogs. Only some time in autumn he used to climb the tree and ate a few ripe apples. He also attacked the beehives and was punished. He was put on the chain only for the night and also on Sundays.

The lady used to go to her sister on Sundays. It was a good hour’s walk through the forest. She used to put the bear on the chain to be on the safe side. One Sunday she was half way through the forest, when she saw the bear coming at full speed. He was panting. She got angry. She was already late for lunch. She had no time to take him back home. She threatened to hit him with her umbrella. But he was not ready to go back. In anger she hit him hard with her umbrella. Then he turned round and walked back.

The lady came home in the evening. She found the bear sitting in his usual place. She was still very angry. She scolded him severely. She threatened to chain him for two more days.

The old cook rushed out from the kitchen. She told the mistress that the bear had been very gentle and meek the whole day. He had been looking towards the gate for her to come back.

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