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At the beginning of the story, Squeaky runs for herself. It brings her pleasure and a sense of pride. You can hear this when she describes the joy of running as she narrates the story.
However, as the story continues, Squeaky spends more and more time with her brother Raymond who has special needs. Running is not the same for her because she must watch out for her brother, and this distresses her; it holds her back.
However, by the end of the story, Squeaky comes out of herself and her running surrounds the experiences of her brother Raymond and what running means to him.
This is a story that speaks to growing up, to becoming more responsible, doing that which we may not want to do, giving of ourselves for the good of others, and being gracious about it. It becomes a matter of caring for someone else rather than looking for pleasure and success for what we can accomplish on our own. It is about taking pleasure in helping someone else accomplish something important, and believing that that is the greatest reward.
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