Why was Fudge's mother worried about him in Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Judy Blume's young reader's novel Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, the mother of Fudge and Peter definitely demonstrates feeling a lot of worry over Fudge. One worrying instance occurs when he eats roses and daisies from the flower arrangement she sets out to entertain Mr. and Mrs. Yarby, the boss, and his wife, of Peter's father. Another worrying instance is when she can't get Fudge to eat anything. However, the most worrying moment in the story is when Fudge eats Peter's turtle named Dribble.

Fudge, whose real name is Farley Drexel Hatcher, is the annoying two-year-old brother of Peter, the story's nine-year-old protagonist. Blume's story details Fudge's antics, especially showing how Peter has to deal with him. Fudge's most dramatic antic is eating the small turtle named Dribble that Peter won as a prize at a friend's birthday party.

One day, Peter comes home to find Dribble missing and Fudge standing near the empty bowel Peter had set on top of his dresser. When Peter asks Fudge where Dribble is, Fudge points to his tummy and merrily exclaims, "I ATE HIM!" (Ch. 10). Their mother is so worried that she immediately has Fudge rushed to the emergency room. She is even seen crying. For example, when the hospital attendant calls out to the ambulance driver, "Hey, Joe! ... Make it snappy ... this one swallowed a turtle!," she breaks down into tears for a second time (Ch. 10). The main reason why she is worried is because she can't imagine what could happen to her young son for having swallowed a turtle.

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