The Midwife's Apprentice

by Karen Cushman

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How was Alyce treated in the village after she saved Will in The Midwife's Apprentice?

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Alyce saves Will Russet, the village bully boy, from drowning. This is somewhat ironic given that Will's forever picking on her. But Alyce has a good heart, and she's not about to see harm come to someone if she can help it, even if that someone happens to be a really unpleasant character like Will.

As well as saving Will from almost certain death, Alyce also helps him to deliver twin calves. Alyce is actually surprised at how good a midwife Will really is. After all, Alyce, like everyone in medieval society, regards midwifery as woman's work, not something that boys would ever do. But it's a sign of how gracious she is that Alyce is big enough to acknowledge someone else's skills, even if she doesn't have much time for them.

Saving Will from drowning earns Alyce increased respect in the village. It's been a long time coming, but better late than never. In most of the villagers' eyes, Alyce's life-saving skills make her ideally suited to be a midwife, and so they come to her for advice about delivering babies. Alyce even successfully delivers a baby in the midwife's absence, with earns her even greater respect. (Though not, it should be said, from the jealous midwife herself.)

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