Steinbeck's opening two paragraphs of the novella Of Mice and Men describe an oasis setting on the bank of the Salinas River. Steinbeck illustrates a peaceful setting by describing a sandy beach near a deep watering hole located in the valley near the Gabilan Mountains. The two paragraphs include images of rabbits relaxing in the shade during the day while dogs and deer drink from the clear blue water at night. Images of healthy willows and sycamores surrounding the sandy bank create an atmosphere similar to paradise. The reader also imagines children jumping into the water and men refreshing themselves after long, strenuous journeys. Steinbeck uses adjectives such as "golden" and "green" to describe the natural setting. These colors are associated with nature and majesty. In the first two paragraphs, Steinbeck creates the image of a peaceful oasis where both animals and humans find tranquility.