A Tiger in the House Summary

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  • 0:03 Works of Fiction
  • 0:32 Finding Timothy
  • 0:59 Raising Timothy
  • 1:59 A Surprise Ending
  • 2:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lauren Posey

Lauren has taught intermediate reading in an English Language Institute, and she has her Master's degree in Linguistics.

In this lesson, we'll look at a summary of the fictional short story 'A Tiger in the House' by Indian author Ruskin Bond. When you are through, you can test your understanding with a short quiz.

Works of Fiction

Think about your favorite book or short story. What type of literature is it? Is it a true story, or is it made up? A story that didn't really happen is a work of fiction. There are many famous examples of fictional short stories. One is 'A Tiger in the House,' which was written by Indian author Ruskin Bond. He wrote many short stories, especially children's stories, and 'A Tiger in the House' is a very well-known example of his work.

Finding Timothy

While 'A Tiger in the House' is narrated by his grandson, the actions in the story mostly center around Grandfather. He goes out into the Indian jungle as a guide for a group of wealthy big-game hunters. They're looking to hunt tigers, but they don't find anything to shoot.

Grandfather, however, comes across a baby tiger '...about eighteen inches long, hiding among the intricate roots of a banyan tree.' He takes the cub home with him and names it Timothy.

Raising Timothy

While he's young, Timothy is fed milk. As he grows older, his caretakers switch him to mutton, and later, to pigeons and rabbits. Young Timothy is sweet and not very aggressive. In fact, he acts a lot like the average house cat! He coexists with the monkey, Toto, even though it pulls his tail. He is initially afraid of the puppy, but later he plays with it and lets it ride on his back.

Like a house cat, Timothy play-stalks the grandson's feet, and he washes himself with his paws. He sleeps with the cook at night, and the grandson walks him around the block on a chain, which makes the neighbors nervous. While Timothy is young he's not a problem, but as he gets older and bigger he starts to act more like a tiger.

After he is six months old, Timothy starts trying to eat the neighbor's pets, and he eats Grandfather's chickens. The final straw is when he begins aggressively stalking the cook around the house, looking like he wants to eat him. At this point Grandfather takes Timothy by train to the Lucknow Zoo, since clearly he can no longer be just a pet.

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