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Lennie likes soft things and while he and George are traveling to Soledad Lennie is carrying a dead mouse in his pocket. Lennie likes to take the mouse out and stroke it while they walk. This upsets George because he suspects the mouse wasn't dead when Lennie picked it up, even though Lennie assures him that he found it dead. George makes him throw it away and promises that when they are able to he'll get Lennie a puppy because puppies can be pet much harder and not die.
Lennie has a dead mouse in his pocket, and when pressed to throw it away by George, he reluctantly agrees, but secretly keeps the mouse. The mouse symbolizes Lennie's love for soft things, which will eventually get him into trouble.
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