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Miss Maudie Atkinson is Scout's favorite neighbor in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Maudie is not a "miss" at all, but a widow (her maiden name was Buford). She was just another neighbor to the Finch children until Scout discovered a secret talent.
... when she grinned she revealed two minute gold prongs clipped to her eyeteeth. When I admired them and hoped I would have some eventually, she said, "Look here." With a click of her tongue she thrust out her bridgework, a gesture of cordiality that cemented our friendship.
... Jem and I had considerable faith in Miss Maudie. She had never told on us, had never played cat-and-mouse with us, she was not at all interested in our private lives. She was our friend.
She also "baked the best cakes in the neighborhood" and spent most of her time working in her garden. She and Scout's Uncle Jack carried on mock flirtations when he came to visit at Christmas. "He said he was trying to get Miss Maudie's goat, that he had been trying unsuccessfully for forty years..."
Mr. Avery thought enough of Miss Maudie to risk his life retrieving her upstairs furniture the night of the fire. For that, she made "him a Lane cake." Miss Stephanie liked her enough to let her move in with her after Maudie's house was destroyed. Atticus' respect for her was mostly unspoken, but he kidded with her more than anyone else in the neighborhood. Aunt Alexandra respected Miss Maudie. At the missionary circle,
She gave Miss Maudie a look of pure gratitude... Miss Maudie and Aunt Alexandra had never been particularly close, and here was Auntie silently thanking her for something.
Even Boo Radley liked Miss Maudie.
"He always spoke nicely to me, no matter what folks said he did. Spoke as nicely as he knew how."
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