The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child

by Francisco Jiménez

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Chapter 7 Summary

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Last Updated on September 6, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 185

The death in “Death Forgiven” is that of El Perico, whom Francisco calls his “close friend.” El Perico is a parrot, and Francisco teaches him how to talk and how to sit on the boy’s finger. The family is living in a garage, and the bird likes to walk along a wire Mama uses to hang up wet clothing.

El Perico has developed an unlikely friendship with the neighbor’s cat, Catarina. When the neighbors come for a visit without the cat, El Perico protests mightily and noisily. Papa, however, cannot tolerate noise, and already frustrated by the family’s lack of work, he hits the bird with a broom. His blow is too hard, and El Perico falls dead.

The family begins to scream and cry at this point, but Francisco dashes out the door and hides in a shed. He prays until he feels calmer, and then he prays for his father, finding forgiveness in those quiet moments. Roberto and Francisco bury El Perico in a cigar box. Two weeks later, the family moves back to Corcoran for the cotton picking season.

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