The Tiger in the Tunnel

by Ruskin Bond

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Describe the battle between Baldeo and the tiger and the factors that led to Baldeo's defeat.

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The tiger attacks Baldeo, who moves out of the path of the attack. He strikes the tiger twice with the axe, and the author says he almost severs the tiger's leg at the shoulder. The axe gets stuck in the bone. The tiger jumps onto Baldeo and kills him. Baldeo only feels a searing pain in his back before he dies. The tiger is then struck and killed by the train in the tunnel.

The tiger approaches Baldeo with confidence because he isn't the first man the tiger attacked. Ruskin Bond writes:

The tiger, used to the ways of men, for it had been preying on them for years, came on fearlessly, and with a quick run and a snarl struck out with its right paw, expecting to bowl over this puny man who dared stand in the way.

Because it has experience fighting men and hasn't lost—since it's still alive—it feels confident that it can defeat Baldeo, who it views as puny.

Baldeo ultimately dies because the tiger doesn't lose its weapon—claws and teeth—but Baldeo loses the use of his axe when he strikes the tiger and it gets stuck in the bone.

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The tiger approaches Baldeo confidently because he can see clearly in the dark. Additionally, the tiger can afford to be confident: it is a swift, powerful creature and has an innate ability to retain its stamina in any chase.

The tiger has also preyed on man for years, and it is familiar with the habits of humans. As for Baldeo, he is defeated because he loses his weapon during his fight with the tiger.

The tiger first strikes out at Baldeo with his paw. Baldeo, anticipating the tiger's move, leaps aside and brings his ax down on the animal's shoulder. The tiger roars in pain and looks for another opening. Meanwhile, Baldeo brings his ax down again, this time on the tiger's leg. The blow almost severs the animal's leg.

Unfortunately, the battle is not over. Baldeo's ax becomes lodged in the bone of the tiger's leg. Without his ax, Baldeo is defenseless. Seeing its opportunity, the tiger leaps and brings its human enemy down. The terrible encounter ends with Baldeo's tragic death.

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