Study Guide

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Chapter 26

By Diane Ackerman

Chapter 26

  • It's spring. What year? We have no idea. Considering it was December 1943 in the last chapter, we assume it's 1944.
  • Older children from the Underground arrive at the zoo, and Ryś makes friends with them.
  • One day, the mother of one of Ryś's friends comes to Antonina. She overhead the boys plotting to hang a flag that says "Hitler kaput!" on it.
  • What is a childish game to these kids could mean death for everyone.
  • Jan and Antonina foil the boys' plot.
  • Jan asks Ryś how he should be punished.
  • Maybe by eating a whole bunch of chocolate? That would just be awful…
  • But Ryś says, "You can spank me" (26.24), and his father does so. Hopefully there is chocolate after.