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The Witch of Blackbird Pond

by Elizabeth George Speare

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What is Kit's opinion of each member of the Cruff family?

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There were three members of the Cruff family. Kit first observed "a shabby, dour-looking man and wife" and their young daughter (The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Chapter 1). Kit thought that Goodman Cruff was a "cowed shadow of a husband" (Chapter 2). He was timid and hardly spoke a word, even when his wife treated their daughter cruelly. Kit realized that he did care for his daughter despite his apparent indifference. Goodwife Cruff was suspicious and Kit thought of her as a cold person. She treated Kit with contempt. Kit was sometimes frightened of Goodwife Cruff, who was frequently unkind to Prudence, her daughter. Kit thought that Goodwife Cruff was a gossip when she saw her with a small crowd of women in Wethersfield. She found her to be a serious woman and an overly strict mother.

Kit was very fond of Prudence Cruff, the young daughter. She found the child to be kind, intelligent, and pleasant to be around. Kit thought that Prudence was like

a young fawn that had wandered near the house one morning.  It had drawn nearer... quivering with eagerness at the food Mercy set out, yet tensed to spring at the slightest warning (Chapter 11).

Beyond Prudence's frail body and timid appearance, Kit discovered an eager child who wanted to learn and be loved. Kit came to treasure the time she spent teaching Prudence how to read.

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