They Cage the Animals at Night Questions and Answers
by Jennings Michael Burch

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What happens at the end of They Cage the Animals at Night?

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The story ends with Jennings reuniting with his father, Sal. The events that lead to this reunion are as follows:

At the juvenile home in Yonkers, Jennings suffers terrible abuse at the hands of Mrs. Abbott. After discovering Jennings has wet his bed, Mrs. Abbott punishes him cruelly. She makes him strip and orders him to stand on a table in the cold playroom for an entire night. In the morning, Mrs. Abbott makes him expose his naked body to the rest of the children. She then proceeds to whip him on the front and back of his body. Mrs. Abbott makes the other children watch as she whips the defenseless Jennings.

Jennings eventually flees the home. He hides in a nearby zoo and is picked up by Officer Daily. The officer takes Jennings to the police station, and another officer tells him he will have to go to a juvenile home. However, Officer Daily decides to take Jennings home with him. There, the officer's wife, Mrs. Daily, gives Jennings a much needed bath and makes him something to eat. The couple argues about keeping Jennings with them, instead of sending him to another juvenile home. Mrs. Daily worries this could mean the loss of Officer Daily's job. 

Jennings overhears their conversation and decides to leave. He does not want his benefactors to suffer negative consequences for protecting him. So, after Officer and Mrs. Daily fall asleep, Jennings leaves with his stuffed pet, Doggie. Jennings and Doggie return to the zoo. It is not long, however, before Jennings hears his name being called. When he discovers the voice belongs to his father, Sal, Jennings is overjoyed. The story ends with an emotional reunion between father and son.

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