In Tuck Everlasting, why did the Tucks take Winnie home?  

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It is during chapter 5 that Winnie meets Jesse Tuck by the spring. Winnie insists that she should be allowed to drink from the spring that she saw Jesse drinking from, and Jesse tries to keep her from doing that. Unfortunately, Jesse is not having much luck. Right as Winnie kneels down to take a drink, Mae Tuck arrives. She quickly assesses the situation and announces that the worst has finally happened. Chapter 6 then begins, and Winnie finds herself on the back of the horse being taken away from the spring. Mae keeps apologizing for their actions, and she promises to explain everything at their home. The Tucks have taken Winnie for two main reasons:

  1. The Tucks grabbed Winnie in order to physically prevent her from drinking the spring water that would turn her immortal.
  2. The Tucks take Winnie because they feel obligated to tell her the truth about the spring.

Mae and Jesse stop to rest, and they tell Winnie their story; however, they are still not willing to send Winnie on her way home. They want to make sure that Winnie fully understands the danger of the spring and the necessity of keeping it a secret. Mae Tuck believes that her husband is the best person for that job. They want to take Winnie home so that Angus can convince Winnie to keep the secret.

"We got to take you home with us. That's the plan. Tuck—he'll want to talk it out, make sure you see why you can't tell no one. But we'll bring you back tomorrow. All right?"

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The Tucks never meant to kidnap Winnie; they only brought her with them so that they would have enough time to explain to her about the spring.  Mae tells Winnie, "Tuck - he'll want to talk it out, make sure you see why you can't tell no one.  But we'll bring you back tomorrow," (p. 43).  They weren't bad people, or true kidnappers.  They were simply afraid that she might tell someone about the water in the woods, and then their secret would be out for the world to know.  The problem is, if everyone were immortal, the world would be too crowded.  Also, having lived with immortality for years, the Tucks knew that it wasn't the right way to live; they didn't wish that on other people.  So they had to bring Winnie home with them in order to fully explain the situation to her and to ensure that she wouldn't tell anyone else about the water.

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