In The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, what did Kenny's mother do to help Kenny and Rufus make up after their fight?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Rufus and Cody are new to the school, and everyone makes fun of them because of their country ways. Rufus and Kenny are secret friends, and Rufus comes over every day to play with plastic dinosaurs. Kenny's mother also packs extra sandwiches for Rufus and Cody to eat for lunch...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Rufus and Cody are new to the school, and everyone makes fun of them because of their country ways. Rufus and Kenny are secret friends, and Rufus comes over every day to play with plastic dinosaurs. Kenny's mother also packs extra sandwiches for Rufus and Cody to eat for lunch at school.

One day, Larry Dunn makes fun of Rufus and Cody on the bus for sharing the same pair of jeans, which they wear on different days. Larry asks if they also share underwear, and everyone laughs, including Kenny. After that, Rufus ignores Kenny and won't come over to play. One day, Kenny's mother greets Rufus and Cody when they get off the bus, and Momma walks with them to their house. Kenny doesn't know what his mother tells Rufus, but Rufus then shows up to play with Kenny. Presumably, Momma apologizes for Kenny to Rufus.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

It is after Kenny laughs along with everyone else at a particularly childish and cruel joke that Larry Dunn makes about Rufus and Cody that Rufus stops talking with Kenny and playing with him. This makes Kenny incredibly sad, as Rufus was really the only friend he had. His mother notices and gives him some advice on how to patch up the relationship, but also, much more practically, the next day, she greets Rufus and Cody when they get off the school bus and walks home with them:

The next day after school when the bus pulled up at Rufus's stop Momma was standing there. When Rufus and Cody got off they said, "Hi, Mrs. Watson," and gave her their big smiles. The three of them walked toward Rufus's house. Momma put her hand on Rufus's head while they walked.

Kenny doesn't ask what they talked about, but he understands that she must have asked Rufus to come around to play, because he keeps his eye on the clock and is ready to apologise when Rufus knocks on the door.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team