What is the theme of “The Moose and the Sparrow” by Hugh Garner?

The theme of "The Moose and the Sparrow" by Hugh Garner is that ingenuity wins out over brute strength. The story shows that it is not a good idea to underestimate an enemy.

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"The Moose and the Sparrow" shows that ingenuity and intelligence win out over brute strength. It is a cautionary tale about not underestimating an enemy.

Cecil, the "sparrow," is new to the lumber camp. He is small and is hazed by the large Moose Maddon and the other men. When Moose finds out that Cecil is attending a university, he targets Cecil in dangerous ways after the others have stopped hazing Cecil.

For example, Moose causes Cecil to burn his hand by heating the end of a saw in the fire and having Cecil pick it up. The narrator, Cecil's boss, worries that Cecil will be even more badly injured before his time at the camp is up.

As it happens, Moose gets drunk, falls into a ravine, and dies. Later, the narrator realizes that Cecil had stretched a trip wire for Moose, and so Cecil paid him back for the bullying.

This is a trickster tale, one that warns that an opponent who looks weak and powerless can be more formidable than he seems. Cecil, who grew up in foster homes and yet got into college, shows that he has learned how to take care of himself. The story shows that it is not a good idea to underestimate an enemy.

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