Summary and Explanation of The Bond of Love (Character Sketch and Quick Revision Notes)

The Bond of Love by Kenneth Anderson

Character Sketches from Reach for The Bond of Love

Bruno: Bruno is the pet sloth bear in the author’s home. He is an affectionate, emotional, sensitive, and playful animal.  Bruno behaves like a member of the family with a specifically deep bond of love for the lady. Bruno’s affectionate nature wins him the love of the Alsatian dogs and the children of the tenants. He loves eating and enjoys every kind of food and drink. Bruno is playful and mischievous.
Affectionately called ‘Baba’ by the author’s wife, he behaves like a young child in the family. He roams around the whole house and even sleeps in their bed. Bruno’s selfless love can be seen when he is sent to the zoo where he suffers the pain of separation. He frets and refuses to eat. He is overjoyed when he sees the narrator’s wife after three months. He recognizes her from a distance and keeps eating from her hands for hours. He is overjoyed when brought back home and spends happy moments in the lap of his caretaker that is the author’s wife. Thus, Bruno’s character reveals that animals are very loving, affectionate, sincere and selfless creatures.

The Author's Wife: The author’s wife, who is not given any name in the story, is the caretaker of the sloth bear. She names sloth bear as Bruno and later on affectionately calls him ‘Baba’. She is an embodiment of love, care, concern, consideration and kindness. She seems to be a great lover of animals as is evident from the fact that she is extremely delighted when her husband gifts her a young cub of a sloth bear. She is selfless and highly affectionate and takes good care of the pet as if he were her own child. However, she is considerate and does not resent putting him in chains for the sake of the children of tenants. She also agrees to have him sent to a zoo when he grows too big and unmanageable.
The author’s wife showers motherly affection on the bear and is terribly sad at separation from him. Like a real mother, she carries a variety of food for him when she visits him at the zoo. She is so overwhelmed by the affection of the bear that she is able to convince the curator and the Superintendent that he should be sent back home. Such is her emotional bond with Bruno that she preserves the stump and the bamboo stick with which he used to play and returns them to him when he comes back. Thus, the author’s wife is a very kind-hearted animal lover with an affectionate heart.

Summary for The Bond of Love

Once, Anderson was passing through the fields near Mysore along with his companions when they encountered wild pigs that were being driven away from the fields. Some of the pigs had fallen dead when shot, while others had fled. At this time, a sloth bear appeared unexpectedly and was killed by one of the friends of the narrator. Soon they discovered that a baby bear had been riding on the back of the mother bear that lay dead after being shot. The young cub was shocked to find his mother dead. As he ran away into the fields, the narrator chased and captured him. He presented the young bear to his wife who named him Bruno as it was a male cub.

Initially, the young bear was fed with milk from a bottle but soon he started eating all kinds of food. He would drink almost every kind of liquid – all soft and hard drinks. Soon Bruno developed a friendly bond with the two Alsatian dogs that the family owned as well as with the children of the tenants. He enjoyed complete freedom playing and moving about in every corner of the narrator’s house and even slept in their beds.

One day, Bruno went to the library of the narrator and by chance consumed barium carbonate, a kind of poison that had been kept to kill the rats. The poison soon showed its effect and Bruno suffered an attack of paralysis. However, he managed to reach the narrator’s wife who at once informed her husband. Bruno was immediately taken to a veterinary doctor who administered two antidote injections of 10 c.c. each to the bear. Bruno got well and soon started eating like normal. At another time, he accidentally drank old engine oil. However, it did not have any effect on him.

The narrator’s family took good care of Bruno, so he grew at a fast pace acquiring many times the size he was when he came. He had become mischievous and playful. The narrator’s wife now changed his name to Baba which means a ‘small boy’. He learnt to perform a few tricks as well but still had to be kept chained because of the tenants’ children. Soon the author and his son felt that he should be sent to a zoo because he had become too big to be kept at home. The narrator’s wife, who had got deeply attached to Bruno, was convinced after much effort. The bear was taken to the Mysore zoo after getting a positive response from the curator.

After Bruno left, the wife of the narrator fretted and would not eat anything for some time. Meanwhile, reports from the curator and the friends of the narrator who visited the zoo reported that Bruno too was sad and was not eating anything. After three months, at the insistence of his wife, the narrator took her to the zoo. Bruno at once recognized the narrator’s wife and expressed delight by howling with happiness. After spending three hours feeding and pampering Bruno, the narrator’s wife requested the curator to give Bruno back to her. He, in turn, recommended her to contact the superintendent. Finally, with the Superintendent’s permission, Bruno was brought home. In order to keep him comfortable and safe, an island with a dry pit or moat around it was made especially for him. The author’s wife would spend a lot of tune on the island with Bruno sitting in her lap. This indicated that sloth bears to have affection, memory and individual characteristics.

Quick Revision Notes
  • The Bond of Love is a story of emotional bonding between a woman and a bear. The author once found an orphan sloth bear and presented it to his wife.
  • The author’s wife christened it Bruno. She loved him deeply
  • She put a colored ribbon around his neck. She cooked a variety of dishes for him. He also performed many playful tricks which give pleasure to her.
  • They enjoyed each other’s company.
  • When the bear grew big, he was dangerous for the children in  the house.
  • So the author decided to send him to the zoo.
  • His departure was very painful for the author’s wife.
  • Finally she asked her husband to visit Bruno in the zoo. They both felt relieved on meeting. They still never forgot each other.
  • They decided to bring the bear back home.
  • In a few days, they built an island for the sloth bear. The author’s wife spent hours sitting on a chair and playing with Bruno. 
  • The bonding between the human and the animal was very strong.
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