(Explanation, Meaning of Difficult Words) 

Author – Kenneth Anderson


Word Meaning
Sloth bear A type of bear
By accident By chance, Unintentionally

I will begin this story by talking about pet bear of my wife. It is a sloth bear. Its name is Bruno. I had brought it home by chance.



Word Meaning
Driving away Cause someone to move away
Wild Those living in jungle
Shooting at Firing bullets

Two years ago we were crossing a sugarcane filed near Mysore. Some people were driving away the wild pigs. These had entered the fields to cause damage to the crop. People were firing bullets at the pigs.



Word Meaning
Some were shot Some were killed
Panting Breathing heavily through mouth

Some pigs got killed and other pigs ran away. By this time sun had risen to a great height. It had become hot. We thought all the animals had been driven away. Suddenly we saw a sloth bear. Its colour was black. It was breathing heavily.



Word Meaning
Wantonly Deliberately, Intentionally, Unnecessarily
Beast Animal
Promptly Immediately

Intentionally I would never shoot a sloth bear. But one of my colleagues did not have such feelings. He immediately shot the bear as soon as he saw it. The bear died there itself.



Word Meaning
Fur Hair on the body of an animal
Prostrate Lying on the ground with face downwards

We were looking at the bear that had fallen down. It was lying on the ground with it face down. We were surprised when we saw that a mass of black fur moved away from the back of the fallen body.



Word Meaning
Creature Animal
Pitiful Sad, Full of pity

Now we understood that it was a baby bear who had moved away. It had been riding on the back of its mother. And a bullet had killed its mother. The small animal was running around the dead body of her mother. It was making a voice of great sorrow. The voice was full of pity.



Word Meaning
Capture Catch, Overcome
Scooted Ran quickly
Companion Colleague
Grab Hold, catch
Scruff of its neck Back of the neck
Snap To bite
Hooked claws Hook shaped nails

I ran behind the baby bear to catch it. It ran quickly into the sugarcane field. I was chasing it with my colleagues. Finally I was able to catch it by the back its neck. It was biting me. It tried to scratch me with its hook shaped nails.



Word Meaning
Delighted Happy
At once Immediately
Christened Named

We had many gunny bags with us. We put the baby bear in one of those bags. After reaching Bangalore I gifted that baby bear to my wife. She was happy. Immediately she put a coloured ribbon around its neck. Now it was her pet bear. She named the cub (baby bear)  Bruno.



Word Meaning
Took to drinking milk Started drinking milk

Very soon Bruno started drinking milk from a bottle. It was merely one more step towards many other things. In a short period of time Bruno started drinking every other thing.



Word Meaning
Porridge A dish made of cereals
Ingredient Component, Constituent
Pork Meat of pig
Condiment Spice

Bruno ate everything that was given to it. He ate porridge made of anything like vegetable, fruits, nuts, meat etc. It did not matter what spices were put in the porridge or chillies, bread, eggs or ice-cream was put.



Word Meaning
Relish Like

He drank milk, tea, coffee, juice, aerated water, buttermilk, beer, alcoholic liquor. He drank everything that was in liquid form. He really liked drinking everything.



Word Meaning
Alsatian dog A type of dog, A breed of dog
Tenants Who lives in a rented house

We had two Alsatian dogs in our house. The baby bear Bruno became very friendly with them.  He also became friendly with kids of our tenants. When the bear was small, we did not tie him. He was free to move around in our house. He used to play by himself. He would run into kitchen and sleep in our beds.



Word Meaning
accident befell him He met with an accident
Mice Plural of mouse

One day Bruno met with an accident. Rats and mice had entered my library. I had put barium carbonate in my library. It is a poison. I had put this to kill those rats and mice. Bruno entered my library. He was in habit of eating anything that was lying in the house. So he ate that poison.



Word Meaning
Paralysis set in He suffered from paralysis
Dragged himself Pulled himself
Stumps Legs without any strength
Rushed Quickly move
Vet’s residence home of a veterinary doctor
Tame Pet

He suffered from paralysis. He was not able to move his legs. Somehow he pulled himself and reached my wife. My wife called me. I understood what had happened. I quickly put him in the car and went to the home of a veterinary doctor.



Word Meaning
Feverish Hectic, Very quickly

He took out his books and referred to that for treatment. The doctor started going through the index of the book. He was doing it at a very great speed. He asked me name of the poison. He found the treatment for the Barium carbonate. An injection was to be given. He told me that he would bring his syringe and the medicine.



Word Meaning
Floundering Struggling
Rapidly Quickly
Heaving flanks Up and down movement of chest
Gaping mouth Wide open mouth

We rushed to the car. Bruno was still struggling to stand on his legs. He was certainly becoming weak very quickly. He had vomited and was breathing heavily. His mouth was wide open. His chest was moving up and down. He was trying to breathe.



Word Meaning
Hypodermic Syringe
Squeals Screams, Shrieks
Antidote A medicine that neutralizes poison

The doctor asked us to hold Bruno. He injected the syringe. Bruno screamed. 10 cc of medicine was injected into him. Not a drop was wasted. After ten minutes it was observed that his condition had not changed. So another 10 cc of medicine was injected into Bruno.



Word Meaning
stertorous Noisy breathing
Great feed Good quantity of food
disdainfully Look with disrespect

After ten minutes his breathing became less noisy. He was improving. Bruno was able to move his arms and legs. But he was not yet able to stand on his feet. After thirty minutes Bruno gets up on his legs. He eats lot of food. He looks at us with disrespect. He wanted to say what is Barium carbonate? It cannot affect a black bear like me. Bruno keeps on eating. His life has been saved.



Word Meaning
gallon About 3.7 liter
Drained Taken out
Studebaker Brand name of a car
Inroads Entry
Termites Insects that eat wood
Promptly Quickly
Ill effects Bad effects, Harm
The lot Complete quantity

Once I had taken out about one gallon of engine oil from my car. I wanted to use it to prevent entry of termites into our house. Bruno found that engine oil. He quickly drank the complete quantity. But it did not have any bad effects on him.



Word Meaning
Months rolled on Many months passed
Had outgrown them Had become bigger than them
Mischievous Naughty

Many months passed. Now Bruno was many times bigger that he was earlier. His height was equal to that of our Alsatian dogs. Actually he had become taller than them. But he was same sweet and naughty Bruno. He used to play as earlier.



Bruno liked all of us. But he liked my wife most. My wife also liked him. She changed his name from Bruno to Baba. In Indian language, meaning of Baba is a small boy.



Word Meaning
Tricks Actions
Command Order
Wrestle To do wrestling
To box To do boxing
Tackled Fought, Attacked
Tumble Throw down

Baba could do some actions also. When he was given the order to do wrestling or boxing, he would fight with anyone who came near him. He would throw him on the floor. Sometimes a stick was given to him. He would be ordered to hold the gun. Then he would point the stick towards you as if it were a gun.



Word Meaning
Produced Brought
Cradle To hold in lap
Affectionately Lovingly
Stump Stick
Concealed Hidden
Chained Tied with a chain

We used to ask him where the baby was. He would immediately bring a wooden stick. He used to hide this stick in his bed. His bed was made of straw. With lot of love, he would put the stick in his lap. Our tenant had children. They were afraid of Bruno. So most of the time we used keep Baba tied to a chain.



Word Meaning
Consented Agreed

After some time my son and I advised my wife that we should give Baba to Zoo at Mysore. He had become too big. And he should not be kept at home. Some of our friends also advised my wife about it. After many weeks my wife agreed.



Word Meaning
Hastily Quickly
Curator Caretaker, In-charge
Tame Pet
Packed off Sent away

Quickly we wrote a letter to the in-charge of Mysore Zoo. We wanted to write the letter before my wife changed her mind. We had asked the curator if he wanted to have a pet bear in his zoo. He accepted the proposal. He sent a truck that had a cage on it. Baba was sent to the Zoo. It was eighty seven miles from our home.




Word Meaning
In a sense Actually
Relieved Happy, Comfortable
Inconsolable Could not be convinced to accept
Fretted Worried, Became sad

We all missed Baba so much. But actually we were comfortable because he had left us. But my wife was not able to accept the separation. She cried a lot. She was very sad. For some initial days of separation, she did not eat anything. After that she wrote many letters to the curator of Zoo.  She wanted to know how Baba was. The curator replied that Baba was fine. But he was not eating food.



Word Meaning
Begged Requested
To make a point To surely do something

Whenever any of our friends visited Mysore, my wife used to request them to surely visit Zoo. She wanted to know how Baba in the Zoo was. They told us that Baba had become thin. He looked sad. The workers of the Zoo had told them that Baba was sad.



Word Meaning
Restrained Restricted, Prevented

My wife had been thinking of going to Mysore. For about three months I prevented her from going to Mysore. One day she declared that she wanted to meet Baba. She told me that I should take her in the car. Otherwise she will go by bus or train. I took her to Mysore in our car.



Word Meaning
Conjectured Guessed
Howled Shouted
Petted Repeatedly touched with hands
Delight Happiness

Our friends had made a guess that Baba will not recognize my wife. I also thought so. But Baba recognized her even while she was some distance away from his cage. He started shouting with happiness. My wife ran towards the cage. She petted Baba through the bars of the cage. Baba was so happy that he stood on his head.



Word Meaning
And what not And many other things
Cried bitterly Cried too much
Hardened Person having strong heart

Who is not affected by emotions

Depressed Sad
Reconciled Make adjustment, To accept something

My wife sat in front of the cage for next three hours. She did not leave the cage. She gave tea, lemon-water, cakes, Ice-cream and many other things to Baba.  Then it was the time to close the Zoo. We had to move out of the Zoo. My wife cried too much. Baba also cried too much. The curator of the Zoo would normally not get emotional. But he was also feeling sad. The workers of the Zoo felt sad. I could imagine what might happen after this. I adjusted my feelings accordingly.



My wife asked the curator if she could take Baba back home. With hesitation he replied that the Baba now belonged to Zoo. It is Government property now. He did not have the authority to give Government property to anyone. He further told that his boss could certainly return Baba to you. Designation of his boss was superintendent.




Word Meaning
Plead To request earnestly

Then we returned to Bangalore and went to the bungalow of superintendent. My wife started crying while making the request. She told that she and Baba both were sad for each other.  Please give me my Baba back. The superintendent was a kind person. He agreed to give Baba back. He wrote a letter to the curator of the Zoo. The superintendent advised the curator to arrange shifting of Baba to Bangalore. Baba should be transported in a cage.



Word Meaning
Armed with In possession of  something useful
Hoisted Lifted
Accomplished Completed

We went back to Mysore. We were having the letter of superintendent with us. Baba was put into a cage. The cage was lifted to the top of the car. The cage was tied correctly and safely. We started driving to Bangalore. We were driving slowly and carefully. Finally the journey was completed.



Word Meaning
Coolies Workers – especial those who lift heavy materials
Moat A trench that surrounds an area

After reaching home we hired some workers to carry out a special arrangement in the compound of our house. An island was made for Baba. It was about twenty feet long and fifteen feet wide. It was surrounded by a trench. The trench was six feet wide and seven feet deep. Now Baba was not able to cross this trench.



Word Meaning
Fowls Baby birds

We placed a wooden box on the island. In this box we used to keep baby birds in our house. This became the bedroom of Baba. He used to sleep in this during night.



Word Meaning
Gnarled Twisted
Stump A wooden stick
sentimentally Emotionally
Preserved Kept safely

In the wooden box we placed some straw. This would keep body of Baba warm during night. We placed a twisted wooden stick on the island. Baba used to consider this stick as his baby. We also placed a piece of bamboo on the island. This was the gun of Baba. My wife had kept these two things in our house. She had emotional attachment to these. She gave these things to Baba after his arrival from the Zoo.



Word Meaning
Hindlegs Rear legs

After some days the island was ready. Workers shifted the cage of the Baba on the island. He was taken out of the cage. He was now free to move around on the island.  He was happy. He stood on his rear legs. Pointed his ‘gun’. He took his ‘baby’ in his lap. He was thus enjoying his games.



My wife used to spend lot of time on the island. She used to sit there on a chair. Baba would sit on her lap. Now Baba was fifteen months old. He had become quite heavy.



It is very interesting to know how my wife reaches the island. I have tied a rope to the branch of a mango tree. This branch extends upto the island. The rope has a round loop at the end of it.



She puts her one foot in the loop. She gives herself a push with the second foot on the ground. She crosses the six feet wide trench in a single swing. And jumps on the island. She returns from the compound the same way.



Now everyone agrees that even a sloth bear has affection. It has memory. It has some individual qualities also.





The Snake Trying


Author – W.W.E. Ross

Word Meaning
Pursuing Following
Curvings Curved patterns,
Graceful Stylish, Elegant

Somebody is chasing a snake. That person has a stick in his hands. The snake is trying to run away to escape. The snake is moving in a curve. He is not running straight. His movements look so beautiful and stylish.



Word Meaning
Glides Floats
Reeds Plants that grow in water

The snake floats over the water. He does not want to get hurt by people who are following him. The author requests people to allow the snake to float over water and allow it to hide behind the plants. The author does not want that anyone should hurt the snake. Author says that the snake is very small and is of green colour. This snake will not cause any harm even to children.



Word Meaning
Vanishes Disappears
Ripples Waves
Reeds Plant that grown in desert / sand

The snake is lying still in the sand. When somebody observes it, people try to kill it. The snake runs and people follow it. He runs in the form of waves. It does not move straight. The snake disappears in the patterns made on the sand. It hides behind thin green plants. It saves its life.



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