Stickeen – Four Levels | Adventures in English Volume I

Stickeen | Four Levels | Adventures in English Volume I | BBA Notes 

Author: John Muir

Unit 4: Animal Stories

Subject: Adventures in English Volume I

   Literal Comprehension

In the summer of 1880, the narrator John Muir was exploring the southwestern Alaksha region with his friend Mr.Young. Mr. Young brought a dog with him named Stickeen which was given by some Iris people to Mr.Young’s wife. The dog was so small as a little baby. The narrator didn’t like the idea of taking the dog with them as it was very small but after the huge request of his friend, he takes the dog Stickeen to the icy cold region of Alaska. The creature proves to be an interesting company in the journey. It always followed the narrator even leaving their own master. It never complains. It did not love anyone and did not allow anyone to do so. It did not leave the narrator when he was making the most measurable journey in his life. That day he left the camp early in the raring morning with breakfast in his pocket. The dog somehow follows him. They were walking in the snow.
There were many crevasses on the way. The narrator crossed them carefully but the dog was moving like a flying cloud. It did not notice any danger. After reaching the end, they were returning to the camp. On the way, they were trapped on the island surrounded by crevasses (holes). The only way to cross it was Sliver Bridge. The narrator cut notches (V shape holes) on the bridge. After he crossed the bridge, he again had to cut the holes at the other end to climb up. After he reached the other side he called the dog. But it did not come because it had wisely sensed the danger. When the writer repeatedly threatened to leave it there, it very carefully crossed the bridge. And afterward, it was so happy that it cried and danced and dashed. From that day on, it likes to be close to the narrator. It might have thought that the narrator was its god


This story might be trying to tell us about the human and animal relationship. It also tells us that experience teaches us more than anything else. The dog Stickeen changed completely after it successfully crosses the silver bridge and saves its life. It may also be interpreted to mean that there are many things that we find in animals and human beings equally. Friendship and gratitude are equally found in animals.

Critical Thinking

This beautiful story has many points which are normally unacceptable to us. 
  • Why do people explore such remote places by putting their lives in danger? 
  • Why the Stickeen followed the narrator instead of his master?
  • Don’t they die of cold when they are wet in the icy cold region? Otherwise, this story is really impressive. It makes us feel as if we are with the writer making the journey.



After reading this story I came to know so many things about Alaska. I also learned that beauty in nature and danger are interwoven that experience makes one perfect is true even in the case of animals.

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