All Creatures Great and Small

by James Herriot

Start Free Trial

Explain the differences in the preferences of elderly couple towards exotic creatures in the story.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Ruskin Bond's short story "All Creatures Great and Small" is narrated by a man recalling his grandparents when he was a boy. The old couple had a large menagerie of animals and the narrator, like his grandfather, was fond of them all. The old man was an amateur conservationist. He felt that the world was becoming a more and more hostile place for animals as its human population expanded, and he seemed to be doing his best to turn his house and garden into something like Noah's ark, to save as many as he could.

The boy's grandmother was more ambivalent in her attitude to the animals. She could see the benefit of keeping some of them, such as the monkey which caught mice, but would much rather have been without some of the others, such as the python. The menagerie also had a negative impact on her social life, since their presence made it difficult for her to entertain visitors.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team