What is the plot of "A Worn Path"?  

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lnorton eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Eudora  Welty's "A Worn Path," an elderly African American woman undertakes a familiar journey on a road in a rural area. She expresses herself, both to her surroundings and in short spurts of spoken monologue, warning away animals and expressing the pain she feels in her weary bones. 

While in the woods, she imagines that a young boy offers her a piece of cake, and then blames the hallucination on old age. After a bit more walking, she encounters a dog, and in her attempt to hit him with her cane, she tumbles into a ditch. She is approached by the dog's owner, a hunter, who tells her that town is too far away and that she should just go home. He also points a gun at her, but loses interest when she says she isn't frightened.

She finally makes it to town and goes to the doctor's office. The nurse tries to rush her and give her change in a manner that the old woman finds displeasing; she insists on a nickel rather than five pennies. During this exchange, we find out that her grandson has a permanent problem due to a lye-swallowing accident, and that he habitually requires medicine for his throat. The story ends with the woman going to buy a paper windmill for her grandson.