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Stanislav Nazarov
Stanislav Nazarov

Ruskin Bond's Panther's Moon: A Review and Analysis of the Short Stories

Panther's Moon by Ruskin Bond: A Book Review

Panther's Moon by Ruskin Bond is a collection of ten short stories that explore the lives of humans and animals in the Indian wilderness. The stories are set in different locations, such as jungles, hills, villages, and farms, and feature a variety of characters, such as hunters, farmers, children, monkeys, tigers, leopards, crows, and eagles. The stories are written in a simple yet captivating style that appeals to both young and old readers. The stories also convey important themes and messages, such as courage, survival, friendship, compassion, respect for nature, and the coexistence of humans and animals.

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In this book review, I will summarize and analyze each story in the collection, highlighting the main plot points, characters, conflicts, themes, and messages. I will also give my personal opinion and recommendation on why this book is worth reading.

A Tiger in the Tunnel

This story is about a young boy named Tembu who lives with his father Baldeo, a watchman at a railway tunnel in a forest. Baldeo's job is to check the signals and clear the tracks before the trains pass through the tunnel. One night, Baldeo encounters a man-eating tiger that has been terrorizing the nearby village. Baldeo fights bravely with his axe but is killed by the tiger. Tembu waits anxiously for his father to return but sees only his blood-stained axe on the tracks. He realizes that his father is dead but also that he has wounded the tiger. The next day, he learns that some hunters have shot the tiger dead and found Baldeo's body inside its stomach. Tembu inherits his father's job as a watchman and vows to carry on his legacy.

This story shows the courage and sacrifice of Baldeo who risks his life to protect his family and his village from the tiger. It also shows the harsh reality of life in the wilderness where humans and animals are constantly at war with each other. The story also highlights the contrast between the natural world of the forest and the man-made world of the railway. The forest is full of danger but also beauty and mystery, while the railway is a symbol of progress but also intrusion and destruction.

The Monkeys

This story is about a group of monkeys that live on a hill near a town. They are friendly and curious creatures that often visit the town to look for food and fun. They enjoy stealing fruits from the market stalls, playing with children's toys, and watching human activities. However, they also face hostility from some people who consider them pests and nuisances. One day, a cruel man named Ram Bharosa decides to capture some monkeys and sell them to a circus. He sets up a trap with some bananas as bait. The monkeys are tempted by the bananas but are wary of the trap. They devise a clever plan to outsmart Ram Bharosa. They send one monkey to grab the bananas while the others pull him back with a rope made of vines. They manage to get all the bananas without getting caught. Ram Bharosa is furious and chases them with a stick. The monkeys escape to their hill and enjoy their feast.

This story shows the intelligence and ingenuity of the monkeys who are able to trick Ram Bharosa and avoid his trap. It also shows the bond and cooperation among the monkeys who work together as a team. The story also portrays the different attitudes of humans towards animals. Some humans are kind and respectful to animals, while others are cruel and greedy. The story also suggests that animals have feelings and emotions, such as curiosity, joy, fear, and anger.

Grandpa Fights an Ostrich

This story is about a young boy named Ravi who visits his grandfather's farm in the countryside. His grandfather is a retired army officer who loves animals and has a collection of exotic pets, such as a camel, a zebra, a kangaroo, and an ostrich. Ravi is fascinated by the animals and wants to learn more about them. His grandfather tells him stories and facts about each animal. One day, Ravi decides to ride the ostrich, which is named Oscar. He climbs on its back and holds on to its neck. Oscar is not happy with this and starts running wildly around the farm. Ravi is scared and screams for help. His grandfather hears his cries and comes to his rescue. He grabs Oscar's neck and wrestles it to the ground. He then scolds Ravi for being foolish and reckless. He tells him that ostriches are not meant to be ridden and that they can be dangerous and unpredictable. He also tells him that he should respect animals and not treat them as toys.

This story shows the adventurous and humorous spirit of Ravi's grandfather who is not afraid to fight an ostrich. It also shows his love and knowledge of animals, which he shares with Ravi. The story also teaches a lesson to Ravi and the readers about the importance of respecting animals and their nature. The story also illustrates the contrast between the urban and rural lifestyles, as Ravi experiences a different world in his grandfather's farm.

Panther's Moon

This story is about a panther named Sita who lives in a forest with her two cubs. She is a fierce and proud mother who hunts for food and protects her cubs from danger. She also has a rivalry with another panther named Ranga who lives in the same forest. One night, Sita kills a deer and drags it to her den. She leaves her cubs there and goes back to the kill to eat more. However, she finds that Ranga has stolen her kill and is eating it. She confronts him and they fight over the deer. They are evenly matched in strength and skill, but Sita has more determination and courage. She manages to drive Ranga away and reclaim her kill. She then returns to her den with some meat for her cubs.

This story shows the struggle for survival of Sita who has to face many challenges in the forest, such as finding food, defending her territory, and raising her cubs. It also shows her character traits, such as bravery, loyalty, dignity, and perseverance. The story also depicts the beauty and danger of the forest, where life is governed by the laws of nature.

Eyes of the Cat

This story is about a cat named Blackie who lives in a bungalow with his owner Mrs. Bose. Blackie is a pampered and spoiled cat who enjoys sleeping on soft cushions, eating fish curry, and playing with balls of wool. He is also very curious and likes to explore his surroundings. One day, he sees a mouse running across the floor. He chases it but loses sight of it behind a curtain. He follows it into a dark room that he has never been before. He finds himself in a storeroom full of old furniture, books, clothes, and other items. He sees the mouse hiding under a tablecloth. He pounces on it but misses it by an inch. He tries again but fails again. He realizes that he is not used to hunting in the dark and that his eyes are not adapted to low light conditions. He feels frustrated and angry at himself.

This story shows the contrast between Blackie's comfortable and easy life in the bungalow and his natural instincts as a cat who likes to hunt mice. It also shows his curiosity and adventurous spirit that leads him to discover new places and things. The story also explores the theme of adaptation, as Blackie learns that he needs to adjust his vision and skills to different environments.

The Leopard

The Leopard

This story is about a leopard named Sheru who lives in a forest near a village. Sheru is a cunning and fearless hunter who preys on deer, goats, dogs, and sometimes humans. He is also very proud and arrogant, and does not fear any other animal or human. He considers himself the king of the forest and the village. One day, he decides to attack a young girl named Lila who is walking home from school. He stalks her from behind a bush and leaps at her. However, he is surprised by a loud noise that scares him away. He realizes that it was a gunshot fired by Lila's father who was following her. He feels humiliated and angry at being foiled by a human. He vows to take revenge on Lila and her father. He waits for another opportunity to strike.

This story shows the conflict between Sheru and the villagers who live in fear of his attacks. It also shows the character of Sheru who is brave but also cruel and arrogant. He does not respect any other life form and thinks only of his own pleasure and pride. The story also explores the theme of revenge, as Sheru becomes obsessed with killing Lila and her father.

Grandpa Tickles a Tiger

This story is about a young boy named Ranji who visits his grandfather's house in the hills. His grandfather is a retired forest officer who has many stories to tell about his encounters with wild animals. One day, he tells Ranji a story about how he once tickled a tiger and made it laugh. He says that he was walking in the forest with his friend Ramu when they saw a tiger sleeping under a tree. Ramu dared him to tickle the tiger's belly with a feather. He accepted the challenge and crept up to the tiger. He gently tickled the tiger's belly with the feather and waited for its reaction. To his surprise, the tiger did not wake up or attack him, but instead started to purr and snore louder. He tickled it again and again, and each time the tiger purred and snored louder. He realized that the tiger was enjoying his tickling and was not angry at him. He felt a strange connection with the tiger and decided to leave it alone. He walked away quietly with Ramu, feeling happy and amazed.

This story shows the adventurous and humorous spirit of Ranji's grandfather who is not afraid to tickle a tiger. It also shows his love and respect for animals, which he shares with Ranji. The story also portrays the possibility of friendship and harmony between humans and animals, if they are treated with kindness and care.

The Eye of the Eagle

This story is about an eagle named Raja who lives on a cliff overlooking a valley. Raja is a majestic and powerful bird who can fly high and fast in the sky. He has a sharp eye that can spot any prey from afar. He hunts for rabbits, squirrels, lizards, and snakes in the valley below. He is also very proud and confident of his abilities and does not fear any other creature. One day, he sees a kite flying in the sky near his cliff. He thinks that it is another bird that has invaded his territory. He decides to chase it away and show it who is the boss. He flies towards it with great speed and force. However, he does not realize that it is not a bird but a toy made by some children in the village. As he gets closer to it, he sees that it has a shiny glass eye that reflects the sun's rays. The rays hit his own eye and blind him temporarily. He loses control of his flight and crashes into the kite's string. The string cuts his wing and makes him fall to the ground.

A Crow for all Seasons

This story is about a crow named Speedy who lives in a town with his mate and his friends. Speedy is a smart and witty crow who likes to observe and comment on the human activities and affairs. He also likes to tease and annoy other animals, such as dogs, cats, and monkeys. He has a keen sense of humor and a sarcastic tongue. He enjoys flying around the town and looking for food and fun. He also has a strong sense of loyalty and friendship with his fellow crows. He often helps them out of trouble and defends them from enemies. He also respects the elders and listens to their stories and wisdom.

This story shows the personality and perspective of Speedy who is a clever and amusing crow. It also shows his adventures and interactions with different creatures and situations in the town. The story also portrays the life and culture of the crows, who have their own language, customs, rituals, and beliefs. The story also explores the theme of coexistence, as Speedy and his friends live among humans and other animals, sometimes peacefully and sometimes not.

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

This story is about a tiger named Raja who lives in a forest with his mate Rani. Raja is a magnificent and noble tiger who rules over his territory with pride and dignity. He is also a gentle and loving mate who cares for Rani and their cubs. He hunts for food and protects his family from danger. He also respects other animals and does not kill more than he needs. He is admired and feared by all who live in the forest. One day, he hears a roar that challenges him to a fight. He recognizes it as the roar of another tiger who wants to take over his territory. He decides to accept the challenge and face his rival. He leaves Rani and his cubs in their den and goes to meet his enemy. He finds him near a stream that marks the boundary of his land. He sees that he is a young and strong tiger who has come from another forest. They stare at each other for a while, then charge at each other with full force. They fight fiercely with their claws and teeth, trying to overpower each other. They are both injured and bleeding, but neither one gives up. They fight until they are exhausted and can no longer stand. They collapse on the ground, panting and groaning.

This story shows the courage and honor of Raja who defends his territory and his family from an intruder. It also shows the conflict and competition between two tigers who are both proud and powerful. The story also depicts the beauty and violence of nature, where life is governed by the law of the jungle.


Panther's Moon by Ruskin Bond is a collection of ten short stories that showcase the author's talent and passion for writing about animals and nature. The stories are simple yet engaging, realistic yet imaginative, humorous yet poignant. The stories capture the essence of different animals, their characters, behaviors, emotions, conflicts, and relationships with humans and other creatures. The stories also convey important themes and messages, such as courage, survival, friendship, compassion, respect for nature, coexistence, adaptation, pride, revenge, harmony, etc.

In my opinion, this book is a wonderful read for anyone who loves animals and nature. It is also a great way to learn more about the wildlife of India and its diversity and richness. The book is suitable for readers of all ages, as it has something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Panther's Moon by Ruskin Bond:

- Q: When was this book published? - A: This book was first published in 1969 by Penguin Books. - Q: Who is Ruskin Bond? - A: Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent who is known for his novels, short stories, essays, poems, memoirs, etc., mostly based on his experiences in India. - Q: What are some other books by Ruskin Bond that feature animals? - A: Some other books by Ruskin Bond that feature animals are The Blue Umbrella (1974), Angry River (1972), The Room on the Roof (1956), Rusty Runs Away (1994), etc. - Q: What are some of the literary devices used by Ruskin Bond in his stories? - A: Some of the literary devices used by Ruskin Bond in his stories are simile, metaphor, personification, imagery, irony, humor, etc. - Q: What are some of the benefits of reading animal stories? - A: Some of the benefits of reading animal stories are that they can increase our knowledge and awareness of animals and nature, enhance our empathy and compassion for other living beings, stimulate our imagination and creativity, entertain and inspire us, etc. 71b2f0854b


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