Crooks is the name of the ranch's stable buck. In Chapter 2, Candy tells George that the boss was upset they did not show up to work in the morning. He says the boss gave the stable buck hell. George then asks why the boss would give the stable buck hell, and Candy tells him the stable buck is a Negro. Candy goes on to tell George that the stable buck was injured after a horse kicked him and gave him a crooked back. Candy then tells George that Crooks is a nice man who usually keeps to himself and reads a lot. Later in the novella, Lennie enters Crooks's room, which is segregated from the bunkhouse because he is black. Crooks is a lonely man who attempts to pick on Lennie about George not returning to the ranch. After Lennie physically threatens him, Crooks stop picking on him and listens as Lennie tells him about owning their own home.