What does Holling tell his friends about Ariel?

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jjohnson112 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt, the main character, Holling Hoodhood, plays the role of Ariel in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Because Holling needs to buy cream puffs for his 7th grade classmates, he makes a deal with the local baker, Mr. Goldman.  Mr. Goldman will provide Holling with cream puffs if Holling will agree to play Ariel in his theater group's upcoming play. 

Holling agrees, but becomes upset when he finds out the costume is yellow tights with feathers on the butt.  He believes none of his classmates will see him.  However his teacher, Mrs. Baker, happens to be the secretary for the theater group.  She invites the entire class to come see Holling, and even offers extra credit for the class.

After being invited, Holling's friends ask him about the character of Ariel.  Instead of telling his friends that Ariel is a fairy, Holling decides to tell a small lie, a "Presbyterian" lie, and he tells his friends Ariel is a "warrior."  

His friend, Danny Hupfer, asks him if he gets to "wear armor and stuff like that." And Holling answers, "Stuff like that."

So, instead of telling the truth and explaining that Ariel is a fairy, he twists the truth and says Ariel is a warrior, like a knight, who wears armor... as long as your definition of armor includes yellow tights with feathers on the butt.

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The Wednesday Wars

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