The Veldt (Bradbury)

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The Veldt
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A family's high-tech nursery, which turns thoughts into reality, recreates an African savannah as a response to the children's imaginations. The concerned parents were ultimately trapped and probably killed by simulated but realistic lions.

George and Lydia Hadley lived in a technologically advanced home that took care of their every need, including a nursery for their children, Wendy and Peter, that could create any landscape they imagined.

George Hadley — father; caring and concerned; becoming increasingly worried about the nursery's effect.
Lydia Hadley — mother; nervous and worried; feeling replaced by the house technology.
Peter Hadley — son; intelligent, resistant to change and manipulative of the nursery.
Wendy Hadley — daughter; a close ally to her brother and equally manipulative of the nursery.

However, Lydia became concerned when the nursery started to constantly depict an African veldt, complete with lions feasting on a carcass.

“You see, there are the lions, far over, that way. Now they’re on their way to the water hole. They’ve just been eating,” said Lydia. “I don’t know what.”

Despite their attempts to shut down the nursery, the children kept returning to the veldt. George and Lydia consulted a psychologist, David McClean, who advised them to shut down the nursery and the house, as it had replaced them in their children's affections. Despite the children's protests, George decided to shut down the house and take a vacation. However, when George and Lydia went to fetch the children from the nursery, they found themselves locked in the veldt with the lions approaching.

“George!” “Lydia! Oh, my dear poor sweet Lydia!” “They almost got us!”

Outside, the children calmly had a picnic, ignoring the screams of their parents from the nursery. When McClean arrived, he found the children alone, with the vultures circling above the nursery, indicating the grim fate of George and Lydia.