What excuses does Sam give Tim about helping with the chores in "My Brother Sam Is Dead"?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Tim goes out to take care of the animals, he hopes his brother Sam will come to help him, but he doesn't at first.  Resigned, Tim starts with the milking, and finally Sam does come in.  Tim asks Sam if he is going to help with the chores, and Sam replies insolently that he wasn't going to, "but Mother said that idle hands make the Devil's work".  Tim then tells Sam that he can pitch some hay.

Sam's response to Tim's suggestion is a refusal - he says his uniform will get dusty.  Sam then idly picks up a straw and leans against the wall picking his teeth.  Tim comments that he thought Sam was going to change, but Sam replies that he couldn't find anything else to wear.  Tim accuses Sam of "just want(ing) to show off how famous (he is)", but Sam insists that had he "been able to find suitable clothes", he would have been glad to lend a hand.  Tim then squirts Sam with milk from the cow's teat, and when Sam protests, Tim tells him, "Help, then".

Sam decides he will collect the eggs, but notices that there is a hole in the basket.  He says he cannot collect the eggs, since the basket is broken, but Tim tells him to just put hay in the bottom like he himself does everyday.  Sam wants to use a new basket hanging over on the wall, but Tim informs him that they are not supposed to use that one.  Reluctantly, and with a good deal of further complaining, Sam finally puts hay in the old basket and collects the eggs (Chapter 1).