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Book Review: To See a Tiger by Ruskin Bond

To See a Tiger by Ruskin Bond is a short story covered under jungle stories section. Ruskin as a young boy wants to see the real tiger in a forest – in its natural habitat. Mr. Kishor drives him to a forest house and says that he will pick him after two days. In that forest house, an army corporal takes care of his luggage and room. For tea and meals, there is Bhag Singh – he is the servant in that house. They all know as why young Bond has come to the house.

In the evening, Bhag Singh informs him about a river that passes through the jungle and it is hardly fifty-meters away from the house. At night many animals come to drink water there and in the moonlight it is possible to see wild cats there from the verandah. As the night approaches, Ruskin sits in the verandah with a fire hearth around him. He keeps staring and staring but gets no view of the wild animals. Instead, he hears weird cracking of frogs, it seemed as thousands of frogs have gathered to celebrate something. The noise perturbs him. He feels bad about his luck.

Next night Bhag Singh sits with him, and from time to time he gives him tea so that he remains awake for the animal watching. They see no wild animals there. Next night Bhag Singh’s son sits with him and serves him tea from time to time. Three nights wasted – no sight of animals – especially of tiger or lion.

Next day Mr. Kishor comes to pick him up. While driving through the jungle, all of sudden Mr. Kishor stops the jeep with a jolt and there in front of their eyes stands a tiger in the middle of the road. It was crossing the path. Ruskin bemuses on his luck, he waited for this sight for three nights but now he is seeing it in the broad daylight.

Even in the jungle stories, Ruskin never stops to surprise his readers with unexpected endings. Simple but purely engaging story…recommended for kids.


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