Buddy's best friend is a cousin who is middle-aged, as she is described as being "sixty-something" with "shorn white hair." Buddy also says she is "small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched." Her face is described as "remarkable" and "delicate."
She is somewhat childlike in her behavior, and so the two bond closely when Buddy is living with relatives. The other adults in the household are described in vague and somewhat menacing terms, and so the emphasis in the story is on Buddy and his friend, whose adventures during a few weeks before Christmas are described in detail. The pair seem to form a kind of faction against the other adults who, Buddy says, "have power over us, and frequently make us cry," but they manage to live very happily in the world his cousin lovingly maintains for them, with many of their activities revolving around food.
Indeed, the main event of the story is the making of holiday fruitcakes,...
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