What does Mr Avery do with the stick of stovewood each week?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In chapter 7, we learn that Mr. Avery takes stovewood and whittles it, or carves it, into a toothpick.

"Mr. Avery averaged a stick of stovewood per week; he honed it down to a toothpick and chewed it."

In one of the most iconic moments in To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout and Jem find their little soap figure likenesses in a hollow of the Radely tree.

When the children find the carvings in the tree, they try to imagine who might have left them there.  They consider Mr. Avery, but then they realize that he lives in the country and probably is not interested in leaving things in trees.  He is sweet on Miss Stephanie, and spends his time sitting on the porch looking at her.  We know this because Scout observes:

“Maybe he sits on the porch and looks at us instead of Miss Stephanie. If I was him, I would.”

Of course, we later learn it is Boo Radley who is leaving the presents.