The Bear Story

Chapter Summary

‘The Bear Story’, written by William Faulkner, focuses on the beautiful relationship between a pet bear and his owner, a lady who used to live on the edges of a forest. She found the starved bear in that forest and decided to keep him as her pet. As time went on the bear started growing big and turned into a strong adult. Regardless of his stature, he was really amicable and found pleasure in watching over the cattle and playing with children. He also played with the three dogs, and never minded them teasing him. He was put to chain only during night-time. He seemed really playful as he climbed apple trees and was also punished for pulling off bee hives, as he was chained for two days straight.

Once, the bear followed the lady through the forest, who was going to meet her sister, who lived on the opposite side of the mountain. She did not like this disobedient behaviour of the bear as she supposedly chained him before leaving the house; he also seemed to have lost the new collar that she gave him. The lady warned him and asked him to return home, but he did not listen, so she hit him so hard with her parasol that it broke. After returning home she decided to chain the bear for two days more, but the cook told her that he had behaved like an angel the whole day. Then she realized that she misunderstood the whole situation and that the bear she hit must have been a different one.

Lady finding the Bear Cub

The lady resided in an old manor-house on the edges of a huge forest. It was in this forest itself where she had found a bear in a half-dead situation, as he was starving and seemed completely helpless. The bear was small that she had to bring him up on a bottle, with the help of her old cook.

Examples which showed the bear was the most amiable bear

The bear had grown up to be a strong, powerful individual since its rescue. He could easily slay a cow and carry it between his paws if he tried to but his behaviour completely contradicted his stature. He was the most amiable bear who couldn’t harm anyone. Three examples can be given to prove this behaviour of him. Firstly, he used to find pleasure in watching over the cattle most amicably, grazing in the nearby field, sitting by his kennel, with an intelligent look over his small eyes. Secondly, there were some children who rode on the back of the bear and were often found gracefully sleeping between the two paws of the bear. Thirdly, the three dogs loved playing with the bear all kinds of games and used to tease him by pulling his ears, but the bear never responded violently to it, rather he enjoyed the playfulness.

What the bear ate?

The bear never had the taste of meat; he was fed the same food like the dogs. He often shared the same plate with them eating— bread, porridge, potato, cabbage, and turnip. Bears are usually considered to be vegetarians, depending on their surroundings and they love to eat apples. The bear eagerly waited in autumn as he wishfully watched the apples ripe.

Bear Tied Up with a Chain

The bear was playful in nature and once he did some mischief with the beehives in the orchard. He was punished for this behaviour by putting on the chain for two days straight, on top of having a bleeding nose; he never committed the same mistake again. He was also put to a chain during the time of night, like any pet. Other than that every Sunday he was put to chain as his mistress went to visit her sister, who resided on the opposite part of the mountain lake, and there was the risk of the bear following her through the dangerous route.

Bear’s Reaction on the Lady While She Was Going to Her Sister’s House

The lady went to visit her married sister every Sunday, and the bear was chained because of that, as he could follow her along, through the dangerous route which was not safe for him. One such Sunday, the mistress as usual chained the bear and was on her way. She had covered half the forest when she realized that the bear was following him, as she heard some twigs cracking behind her back.

After turning back, she horrifically noticed that the bear was coming after her as fast as possible. He caught up to her in a moment and was sniffing her, as he resided in dog-fashion at her heels. The lady became very angry as it was already late to have lunch, and she couldn't return with him back home. She showed her disappointment and also didn't want him to follow her anymore. She commanded him to back but still when he did not listen and also seemed to have lost his new collar, the lady hit him so hard with her parasol that it broke. He reacted like he wanted to say something, but then he turned back and moved on.

Cook Getting Angry with the Mistress

The bear was looking very sorry for himself as he waited the whole day looking towards the gate for his mistress to come back. She came back and scolded him wrongfully; thus the old cook got really angry as she cared for the bear as her son. She said, He has been as good as gold the whole day, bless him!


Q1. Who took care of the bear’s feeding?

Ans. The old cook, who loved the bear, like her own son, took good care of his appetite. She saw to it if he had his fill, as he usually shared the plate with the three dogs.

Q2. What relation did the bear have with the mountain ponies?

Ans. The three shaggy mountain ponies knew of the bear very well. They never gave heed when he went on to the stable with his mistress.

Q3. What did the bear love to eat the most?

A. Bears are usually known to be vegetarians, and the bear in the story also loved to eat fruits. His favourite was perhaps apples as he eagerly waited for them in autumn.

Updated on: 05-Jan-2023


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