How did Sam choose these names for his animal friends in "My Side of the Mountain"?(Frightful, The Baron, Jesse C. James, Mr. Bracket, Mrs. O'Brien, Mrs. Callaway, Mrs. Federico, Barometer)

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sam's falcon friend is called "Frightful" because Sam endured great challenges to become acquainted with her. He remembers being attacked by Frightful's mother as he retrieved her from her falcon nest. 

Meanwhile, Sam chooses the name Baron because the weasel is completely unafraid of him. Sam remembers Baron flying out of the trap and screaming furiously at him when they first met. According to Sam, Baron had sauntered off like royalty after he boldly attacked the boy who dared to trap him. So, Sam calls his weasel friend Baron because of his imperious attitude.

Sam calls his raccoon friend, Jessie Coon James, the "bandit of the Gribley farm." Jessie Coon is likely named after Jesse James, a famous American outlaw.

Sam tells us how he spends time watching the birds from his hemlock hideout during the winter months. He names the birds after his neighbors from Third Avenue. One chickadee is named Mr. Bracket, after a neighbor who lived on the first floor of Sam's apartment building. The human Mr. Bracket invariably became angry when others trespassed on his property.

Much like his namesake, Mr. Bracket (the chickadee) is intolerant of those he considers outsiders. Sam tells us that Mr. Bracket (the chickadee) will only allow his mate to share his favorite perch and feeding spots. He routinely chases other chickadees away from these areas.

Meanwhile, Sam names other chickadees after three of his female neighbors: Mrs. O'Brien, Mrs. Callaway, and Mrs. Federico. Accordingly, the three women always went to market together in the mornings. Along the way, they would stop to lecture and chastise wayward little children. Similarly, the three chickadees follow each other everywhere, stopping only to scold and to make a noisy fuss about everything. Sam muses that the chickadees are very much like his neighbors; they routinely interact with each other in the same way his neighbors on Third Avenue did.

Sam names his nuthatch friend Barometer because he can always tell how the weather will turn. He relates how Barometer often takes shelter when a storm is approaching. Sam appreciates the fact that he can rely on Barometer to properly prepare for severe weather changes.




dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sam calls his falcon "Frightful" because of "the difficulties (they)...had in getting together".  Sam had to scramble up a mountain and tussle with the young bird's mother when he stole her from her nest (Chapter 7).

"The Baron" is a weasel Sam catches in a trap.  Despite his discomfiture at being so ignominously treated, the weasel maintains a noble bearing, "as stately as royalty" (Chapter 9).

Jesse C. James, is a young raccoon, a masked bandit who reminds Sam of the notorious Jesse James.  His middle initial, "C", stands for "Coon" (Chapter 12).

When Sam is watching the chickadees, he thinks of his neighbors on Third Avenue.  Mr. Bracket used to sit on his front step and chase everyone who approached his apartment away, so Sam names a most cantankerous chickadee after him.  Mrs. O'Brien, Mrs. Callaway, and Mrs. Federio always went to market together on Third Avenue, talking and pushing as they went.  Sam names "three busy chickadees...(who)...flit and rush around and cluck and fly", after these three ladies (Chapter 18).

Sam discovers that "when you don't have a newspaper or radio to give you weather bulletins, watch the birds and animals...they can tell you when a storm is coming".  Sam observes the behavior of a little nuthatch, whom he names "Barometer", in particular, and "when he hole(s) up, (Sam) hole(s) up" (Chapter 19).

amccoy1596 | Student

The baron weasel-he named him this because the baron was the lowest of the noblemen and that is the definition of baren