In The Tiger in the Tunnel, why didn't Baldeo run away when he saw the tiger coming toward him? How did he face the tiger?

Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Baldeo doesn't run away when he sees the tiger coming towards him because he feels confident in his ability to fight the animal. You can see evidence of Baldeo's confidence in the text. Much of his confidence is derived from his tribal identity and his masculine inclinations, which manifests itself in his desire to protect his family.

Baldeo walked confidently for being a tribal himself, he was used to the jungle and its ways. Like his fore-fathers he carried a small axe; fragile to look at but deadly when in use. He prided himself in his skill in wielding it against wild animals. He had killed a young boar with it once and the family had feasted on the flesh for three days. The axehead of pure steel, thin but ringing true like a bell, had been made by his father over a charcoal fire. This axe was part of himself.

The axe represents Baldeo's courage and fighting spirit. It is also the instrument he uses to fight the tiger who corners him in the tunnel. Baldeo also stands his ground because he knows he can never outrun a healthy tiger. Yet, despite almost severing one of the tiger's legs, Baldeo is mauled to death by the enraged animal after he fails to retrieve his axe from the tiger's embedded flesh.