Summary of “Chameleon”

The story “Chameleon” by Anton Chekhov was first published in 1884 in the journal “Shards”. The work was included in the collection “Colored Stories”. In “Chameleon” Chekhov ridicules Ochumelov-like unprincipled people-“chameleons”, who, depending on the situation, change their minds on the most beneficial for them.

Main characters

Ochumelov is a police overseer.

Yeldyrin is a “red” policeman.

Hryukin – goldsmith master.

Prokhor is a general cook.


Through the market square were the police overseer Ochumelov and the policeman Yeldyrin. Suddenly there were screams and dog screaming. From the wood warehouse of the merchant Pichugin, a dog ran out on three legs, behind which a half-drunk “man in a cotton starched shirt and unbuttoned vest” was chasing. The man grabbed the dog’s hind legs. The noise attracted people’s attention,

and soon a crowd gathered around them. Ochumelov decided to figure out what was wrong.

Near the gate of the warehouse stood the same man and, “raising his right hand,” showed “the crowd a bloody finger.” Ochumelov learns in it the golden deeds of the master Khryukin. In the center of the crowd was a frightened “white greyhound puppy with a sharp muzzle and a yellow spot on his back.”

Hryukin explained to the policeman that the dog had “bitten him for no reason” behind his finger. And since his work is “petty,” and now he can use this finger “a week does not move,” it requires compensation.

Ochumelov began to find out who owns the dog, threatening to fine her master, and destroy the animal itself. Someone from the crowd suggested that this was the dog of General Zhigalov. Ochumelov felt hot, he asked to take off his coat and attacked Khryukin, accusing him of apparently “picking his finger at the carnation” and lied to everyone.

Doubting, the policeman noted that the general does not have such dogs – “he

has more and more cops”. Ochumelov immediately changed his mind, advising Khryukin “to do so so as not to leave it” and “to teach a lesson” to the dog. However, someone from the crowd again said that the animal is still a general. Ochumelov felt cold, he put on his coat and, threatening Khryukin, ordered to take the dog to the general.

Past the general’s cook Prokhor reports that the dog is definitely not a general. Ochumelov again ordered that the animal should be “exterminated.” However, Prokhor noted that the dog belongs to the brother of the general. Ochumelov immediately begins to treat the puppy with trembling and affection and asks the cook to pick it up.

“The crowd is laughing at Khryukin.
” “I’ll still get to you,” Ochumelov threatens him and, wrapping himself in his greatcoat, continues his journey through the market square. “


Chekhov’s story “Chameleon” does not lose its relevance in our days. The work was translated into many languages ​​even during the life of the author. In 1971, “The Chameleon was filmed.

A brief retelling of Chekhov’s “Chameleon” allows you to get acquainted with the plot of the work, but for better knowledge of the story, we recommend to read it completely.

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Summary of “Chameleon”