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Book Review: The Elephant and the Cassowary Bird by Ruskin Bond

The Elephant and the Cassowary Bird by Ruskin Bond is a cute short story about the behavior of two animals: a baby elephant and a Cassowary bird. Whenever there is a mention of animals in the stories of Ruskin, his grandfather’s name appears inevitably. His grandpa has a natural talent in handling and understanding animals and even reptiles like python and chameleon. Grandpa is an animal lover who keeps many animals at his home while working at a zoo.


From his trip to Singapore, grandpa brings along a strange bird. It is Cassowary – something between Emu and Ostrich. It is taller than Emu but smaller than Ostrich. The bird is a center of attraction for many, since it is not found in India. Ruskin thinks how it will endure the subtropical temperature of Dehra, well it can if it was able to sustain in Indonesia and Bali.

There are many animals at home. There is also one baby elephant. This elephant circles around that bird every day to be friends with it. However, Cassowary is very hostile and cares least about others feelings and reactions. She kicked backward so forcibly that the baby elephant limped for a week or so. It was clear indication for the elephant that she isn’t looking for friends. After a few more days, the baby elephant goes once again to her. She lifts her one leg in preparation of kicking but before that can happen, the elephant with its trunk holds the other leg of the bird. The bird tumbles down miserably. Seeing her defeat, she gets up as nothing has happened and walks away calmly. Those who were watching laughed out loudly.

After some months, the baby elephant grows to a size of a bull. It is then transferred to the zoo. And the Cassowary continues to live there.

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  1. What do the elephant and cassowary bird tell us about grandfather

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