"A Small, Good Thing," an award-winning story by American short story writer and poet, Raymond Carver, was published in Carver's third major collection of stories, Cathedral, in 1983. In his first two collections, Carver had established himself as a new and compelling voice in American literature and a master of the short story form. In Cathedral, he took his craft to new levels of insight into the human condition. "A Small, Good Thing" is generally regarded as one of Carver's finest stories, in which he goes beyond the spare narratives and unrelieved bleakness of some of his earlier work. The story is about Scotty, an eight-year-old boy who dies three days after being hit by a car as he walks to school. In language that is simple on the surface but reveals a host of telling details, Carver depicts the grief of the parents and their quarrel and final reconciliation with a baker who was baking a birthday cake for Scotty. Although tragic and disturbing, "A Small, Good Thing" conveys a message of forgiveness, kindness, and the healing power of human community.