In "To Kill a Mockingbird", what talent does Atticus have that greatly impresses Jem and Scout?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Atticus is an excellent marksman, something the children never knew about their father until the day the rabid dog came down the street.  Atticus had never talked about his ability to shoot, and as far as Jem and Scout were concerned, their father was just a bookish old guy who put food on the table and read the newspapers at night.  However, the day the dog came, Atticus stepped into the street and killed it with one well-placed shot (although he claimed he was a little to the left), leaving Jem and Scout stunned and amazed.  Later Maudie tells the kids that they shouldn't be ashamed of their father, that he has plenty of talents and skills, and that they should be grateful that he is their father and that he acts his age.

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