Chapter 1: Bringing Up Kari

Week: 25

The boy narrator is nine years old when he receives a five-month-old elephant named Kari. The narrator bathes Kari in the river and gathers twigs for Kari to eat. Kari trumpets, alerting the narrator to a cowherd drowning at the bottom of the river. The narrator pulls the drowning boy to the surface, and Kari pulls them both to shore. In addition to his heroism, Kari is a mischievous elephant, sneaking bananas and fruit from the house. Kari also has a long memory. When a boy named Sudu whips Kari for no reason, Kari waits an entire year for retribution by throwing Sudu in the water. The narrator teaches Kari to be led by the ear, to respond to commands including "Dhat" for sitting and "Mali" for walking, and to learn the difficult master call. When an elephant hears the master call in the jungle, they pull down trees to make a road back home.

Chapter 2: How Kari Saved Our Lives

Week: 25

The narrator and his brother tie a mattress to Kari's back to go for an evening walk. The boys fall asleep riding on Kari's back. When a bear slashes Kari's trunk, Kari breaks into a run. The narrator makes the master call when Kari refuses to return the way they came.

Chapter 3: Kari Goes to Town

Week: 25

The narrator trains Kari to like strange dogs in preparation for a trip to a large city. The narrator next trains Kari to get along with his mischievous monkey, Kopee. Once Kari is friendly toward both dogs and monkeys, the narrator, Kari, and Kopee begin their trip to the big city. On their trip they encounter snakes, owls, silence, and a caravan with camels.

Chapter 4: Kari's Adventure in Benares

Week: 26

The caravan enters the city of Benares, which bustles upon the banks of the Ganges river. They visit the Ghaut, the famous staircase to the Ganges, where thousands of pilgrims converge to bathe and pray. Later that day, Kari encounters the only animal he fears, a mouse. Kari curls up his trunk and backs away. When a pack of dogs attacks Kari, Kari lifts one in his trunk and accidentally kills the dog. Feeling distraught, Kari walks out of the city and into the Ganges. The narrator muses that the jungle is the best place for animals.

Chapter 5: The Jungle Spirit

Week: 26

On the way home from Benares, Kari becomes too hot and plunges into the river. Kopee is terrified, for he does not know how to swim. The narrator guides Kopee to shore, and as they wait for Kari to exit the river, the narrator falls asleep. The narrator is awoken by an elephant trumpet and monkey cry. Kari has stepped upon a cobra, breaking its back but not killing it. The narrator strikes the snake with a stick, and the elephant stomps on the snake's head to finally kill it. The narrator is relieved to find the snake's fangs have not broken Kari's skin. That night they encounter the Silence, a tiger, and the terrible face of the moon of the hunt. Kari answers the call of the moon, crossing the river and charging up the opposite shore. They become lost in the jungle.

Chapter 6: Kari's Story

Week: 26

As the narrator, Kari, and Kopee continue their journey home through the jungle, the narrator is not certain whether he is awake or dreaming. Kari tells the narrator the tale of why the tiger has a horrible stench. Kari also tells the narrator of birds which clean the crocodile's teeth, how sleeping elephants rest in rings to protect their young at the center, and how the rhinoceros is a wayward elephant. Kari sends the narrator up a tree when they cross a herd of wild elephants. Kari fights one of the wild elephants for a mate and wins. When dawn comes, the narrator finds Kari and Kopee and they return to the village.

Chapter 7: The Tiger Hunt

Week: 27

The narrator teaches Kari to respond to tunes played with a flute. That summer, a tiger comes to the village, first killing animals and then killing a person. During the time of this story, India is under British rule, and no Indian can possess a gun. The village must send for a British magistrate to bring his gun and kill the tiger. The British magistrate decides to use Kari as his hunting elephant. The narrator sits on Kari's neck, playing his flute, and the Magistrate sits in a howdah on Kari's back. When they arrive at an open space, beaters begin to drive animals toward the space in the hopes of catching the tiger. Eventually, the tiger comes but the magistrate fires and misses. The tiger attacks, jumping on Kari and trying to get at the magistrate. The narrator distracts the tiger by giving Kari the master call and hitting the tiger with the flute, allowing the magistrate to shoot and kill the tiger.

Chapter 8: Kari and the Quicksand

Week: 27

As the narrator, Kopee, and Kari play on the river bank, they encounter quicksand and Kari begins to sink. Frantic to save himself, Kari grabs for Kopee, pulls the mattress off his back and tries to step on it, and finally attempts to grab the narrator to use as a step. The narrator escapes, runs to the village, and returns with help, but they are unable to save Kari before nightfall. The next day, Kari is saved with the help of his mother elephant.

Chapter 9: Kari's Travels

Week: 27

His strength and size cowing potential robbers, Kari carries valuables such as silver, gold, spices, and fruits on caravans across India. During one journey to transport the king's emerald, Kari and the narrator overnight in the jungle. Kari runs into a river to join a herd of wild elephants. The narrator swims ashore, climbs a tree, and narrowly escapes being stung by a cobra. Kari returns, and the narrator jumps on his back. Sensing something is wrong, the narrator and Kari leave the jungle and narrowly escape a fire. The predator and prey of the jungle put aside their differences to flee the jungle side-by-side.

Chapter 10: Kari in the Lumber Yard

Week: 28

Kari works in a lumber yard and meets a group of Western engineers. One night, two drunken engineers throw lit matches at Kari, and Kari is very afraid of fire. The narrator asks the men to stop, but they refuse. The narrator loosens all of Kari's chains except for one so Kari can escape in case of fire. When the engineers throw lit matches at Kari again, a fire starts. Kari snaps and goes crazy. He breaks his chain, tramples a drunken engineer to death, crushes a car, pulls down a bungalow, kills a bull, and runs away to the jungle. The narrator never sees Kari again, but considers Kari a brother and will never forget him.