In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, what did Peter hold out in front of Mouschi's nose to lure him back inside?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is just that, the diary of a young Dutch girl named Anne Frank. Anne's life is set against the backdrop of World War II, and of course that means her life, as well as those of her family and so many others, are in danger. This book is a compilation of Anne's diary entries during several years of her life, so everything we read is told from her perspective and point of view. 

Anne's family, her parents and sister, take refuge in an attic space called the Secret Annex. Mr. Dussel and the Van Daan family also seek refuge in these cramped but temporarily safe quarters.

Peter Van Daan is a rather quiet sixteen-year-old boy who is reliable and brave as well as kind and thoughtful. He demonstrates all of those qualities by his care for the office cat, Boche, and his pet cat, Mouschi.

The truth is that Mouschi has brought fleas to the attic and therefore should probably not even be there; however, he is and here is what happened on Tuesday, August 10, 1943:

[B]efore he knows what's happened, Mouschi has jumped over [Peter] and gone to sit under the desk. Peter looks all around him. Aha, there's the cat! He crawls back into the office and grabs the cat by the tail. Mouschi hisses, Peter sighs. What has he accomplished? Mouschi's now sitting by the window licking herself, very pleased at having escaped Peter's clutches. Peter has no choice but to lure her with a piece of bread. Mouschi takes the bait, follows him out, and the door closes.

So, Peter happened to have some bread in his hands (intended for people, not animals) when he had to track down the independent cat, and that is what he used to lure Mouschi back inside.

For even more expert analysis and insights on this story, including some interesting biographical information, check out the excellent eNotes sites linked below. 

Read the study guide:
The Diary of a Young Girl

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