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In the book "Woodsong" by Gary Paulsen, what mysteries does Paulsen encounter in the...

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sbilliot | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2009 at 8:24 AM via web

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In the book "Woodsong" by Gary Paulsen, what mysteries does Paulsen encounter in the woods in chapter 6?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 7, 2009 at 9:10 AM (Answer #1)

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In chapter 6 of "Woodsong," by Gary Paulsen the author relates to the reader some of the mysteries of the woods.  The first story he shares is about a chipmunk he is trying to feed crumbs of cookies. As he is coaxing the chipmunk closer a red squirrel jumps from above, grabs the chipmunk, kills it and begins to eat it.  Squirrels are not meat eaters and Paulsen says he has never seen a squirrel eat meat before or sense.  The next mystery was a glowing green light in the forest at night.  It scares him and his dogs but turns out to be a tree stump glowing in the dark.  The third mystery was the behavior of a fawn who walks out into the water to let a little boy pet him then leaves. 

Another deer story is when he finds a deer, dead, frozen and standing straight up in the middle of the woods. He can't imagine what has killed this deer but it remains a mystery how the deer died standing up.

Finally there is the story of the flies and there behavior.  They swarm him and then a deer bounds out of the woods covered in flies.  The deer plunges his head under the water to rid itself of the flies and comes withing touching distance of the deer.

There is also a mystery of a circle of snow where Palusen observes the remains of a grouse which has been killed by a fox.  He can see the results of the kill, but he cannot find any tracks that lead away from the kill site.

"Trying to explain how his attitude toward nature was changed by the things that he observed, he describes some of his encounters with wild animals and the woods. There is the fawn who waded up to his canoe; the deer who escaped from the timber wolves by leaping past his circle of sled dogs to stand, winded, by his fire; the ghost that turned out to be a six-foot-high rotten stump; and the deer that was frozen solid, upright beside the trail."

Paulsen shares these stories with the reader to emphasize how much goes on in the wilderness that man cannot understand or explain.  Paulsen is constantly in awe of his environment and does a wonderful job  sharing this with his readers.

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