How do others' actions before the race starts affect Squeaky?
Squeaky generally likes to arrive just before the May Day race starts, as she does not like the rest of the May Day program and only wants to lie in the grass before her race is announced. While waiting for the race to start, she notices other kids participating in May Day events and carrying their instruments. Mr. Pearson, who is organizing the race, comes by to sign up Squeaky, and he asks her if she is going to let someone else win this year. He begins to say it would be nice if Gretchen and Squeaky both win the race, but Squeaky fixes him with a stare that makes him silent. Squeaky thinks to herself, "Grown-ups got a lot of nerve sometimes."
Even though she doesn't see Gretchen, her main rival, until right before the race, Squeaky feels "so burnt" from talking to Mr. Pearson and realizing he wants her to share the glory of winning the race. Right before the race, Squeaky sees Gretchen stretching "like a pro," and she sees Raymond bending down like he knows how to run. During the race, she realizes Raymond could be a good runner, so she thinks about what she has noticed before the race while she is running.