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When Lennie (one of the two protagonists in Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men) becomes aware that George may have a better life without having to take care of him he offers to go off, find a cave, and live in the cave. George responds, initially, by questioning Lennie's ability to take care of himself.
"Yeah? How'd you eat? You ain't got sense enough to find nothing to eat."
After this, Lennie replies that he would be able to live on his own. He would find things to eat. He also states that he would be able to find a mouse, that he could pet, and no one would be able to take it away from him.
George, suddenly realizing his tone, follows up Lennie's rebuttal with the following:
George looked quickly and searchingly at him. "I been mean, ain't I?"
Lennie proceeds to tell George that he could leave at any time if George does not want him around.
Here, George tells Lennie that he does not want him to leave at all:
"No- look! I was jus' foolin', Lennie. 'Cause I want you to stay with me."
In the end, George realizes that what he has said has hurt Lennie's feelings and that he needs to directly tell him that he wants Lennie to stay with him.
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