“Attila the Gentle Dog”.In the ICSE Class 7 English syllabus, the story of “Attila” presents a delightful contrast between expectations and reality. Despite being named after Attila the Hun, the fierce “Scourge of Europe,” the dog Attila turns out to be unexpectedly gentle and affectionate. This story provides valuable lessons on judging based on appearances and the unexpected forms of heroism. Explore this heartwarming tale of “Attila the Gentle Dog” and discover how a seemingly disappointing guard dog becomes an unintentional hero.

"Attila the Gentle Dog with Massive Head and Red Eyes"

Summary-“Attila the Gentle Dog”

Character Introduction: The story introduces a dog named Attila, expected to be a strong protector due to his significant name, “Attila the Hun.” However, he turns out to be friendly and non-aggressive, much to the dismay of his family. • Attila’s Behavior: Despite his name and imposing appearance, Attila is very friendly; he greets everyone with enthusiasm, which is often mistaken for aggression. However, his actions are always gentle, showing submission and a desire for affection after his initial excitement. • Incident with the Burglar: A significant event in the chapter is when Attila encounters a burglar named Ranga.

Contrary to expectations, Attila does not attack or even bark at the intruder but instead befriends him. This unexpected behavior leads to a humorous situation where Attila ends up accompanying the burglar, who gradually becomes annoyed by Attila’s constant companionship.

Resolution and Heroism: The twist in the tale occurs when Attila inadvertently becomes a hero. While following the burglar, he indirectly causes Ranga to be caught when he accidentally trips him, leading to Ranga’s arrest after a piece of stolen jewelry is discovered. • Moral and Reflection: The story closes on a reflective note, acknowledging Attila’s heroism while humorously noting that it was entirely unintentional. The family’s perception of Attila shifts from viewing him as a disappointment to recognizing his inadvertent heroism.


Word Meanings-“Attila the Gentle Dog”

  • Protagonist: The main character around whom the story revolves.
  • Antagonist: The character who opposes the protagonist, often a villain.
  • Scourge: A person or thing that causes great trouble or suffering.
  • Prepossessing: Attractive or appealing in appearance.
  • Forbidding: Unfriendly or threatening in appearance.
  • Mendicants: People, especially religious followers, who live by begging.
  • Facetiousness: Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant.
  • Pedestal: A base or support on which something stands, often used metaphorically to denote high status.
  • Census: An official count or survey of a population, typically recording various details of individuals.
  • Implore: Beg someone earnestly or desperately to do something.
  • Prowl: Move around restlessly and stealthily, especially in search of or as if in search of prey.
  • Burglar: A person who illegally enters buildings and steals things.
  • Valuables: Items of great worth, especially small personal items such as jewelry or electronics.
  • Almiraahs: Cabinets or wardrobes, typically used in South Asia to store clothes and valuables.
  • Receiver: A person who receives stolen goods in a criminal context.
  • Detractor: A person who disparages someone or something.
  • Prolonged: Continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy.
  • Deadlock: A situation, typically in an argument or negotiation, that no progress can be made; an impasse.
  • Lamentation: The passionate expression of grief or sorrow; weeping.
  • Prolonged debate: An extended discussion involving opposing points of view.
  • Companionship: A feeling of fellowship or friendship.
  • Sensation: A widespread reaction of interest and excitement.
  • Coincidence: A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
  • Facetious: Treating serious issues with deliberately inappropriate humor; flippant or jocular.
  • Triumphant: Having won a battle or contest; victorious.
  • Disconcerting: Causing one to feel unsettled or confused.

Plot Developments-“Attila the Gentle Dog”

  1. Introduction to Attila: The story starts by explaining the significance of Attila’s name, derived from Attila the Hun, known as the Scourge of Europe.
  2. Character Expectations: There are expectations for Attila the dog to be fierce and protective due to his namesake.
  3. Attila’s True Nature: Despite his formidable appearance, Attila is gentle and loving towards everyone.
  4. Family Dynamics and Attila’s Reception: The family is initially proud of their new pet but soon becomes concerned as Attila shows no signs of aggression or protectiveness.
  5. Incident with the Burglar: One night, a burglar named Ranga breaks into the family’s house. Instead of attacking or barking, Attila befriends the burglar.
  6. Attila and the Burglar’s Relationship: After the burglary, Attila follows Ranga out of the house and forms an attachment to him, which eventually leads to Ranga’s capture.
  7. Attila’s Unintended Heroism: Attila inadvertently leads to the burglar’s capture by following him and tripping him accidentally.
  8. Conclusion and Reflection: The family’s view of Attila changes from seeing him as a disappointment to appreciating his unique qualities. The story highlights that Attila’s gentle nature, initially seen as a flaw, ultimately brings joy and a surprising form of protection to his family.

Character Analysis

  • Attila (The Dog): Gentle, loyal, misunderstood, affectionate, submissive, non-threatening, companionable, unintentionally heroic.
  • The Family: Expectant, disappointed, facetious, critical, sarcastic, protective, adaptable, realistic.
  • Ranga (The Burglar): Cunning, frustrated, surprised, resigned, manipulative, desperate, misunderstood, lonely.


“Attila the Gentle Dog”.The story of “Attila the Gentle Dog” is a heartwarming reminder that true heroism can come from the most unexpected places. Attila, despite his gentle nature, proves to be a hero in his own unique way. This story teaches us not to judge based on appearances and highlights the importance of appreciating the unique qualities in everyone, even if they don’t meet our initial expectations.

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