Chapter 2 Summary

The narrator’s recollections begin with experiences when he was ten years old. He remembers the beginnings of an intense desire that was the strongest of his young life: he wanted dogs. He recalls the first time he petitioned his father for them. With good-natured patience and understanding, his father considers his request. Then he speculates that one of their neighbors, whose dog was expecting a litter, might give him a puppy. The narrator adamantly rejects the suggestion, informing his father that he must have two dogs and that he only wants hounds—hunting dogs.

Sadly, the narrator’s father explains, hunting dogs are expensive and the family cannot afford such a luxury. Although the narrator understands his father’s response, he does not accept it. Rather, he approaches his mother and begs her for the two hounds. Unlike his father, whose only objection was cost, his mother dislikes the idea entirely. She thinks he is too young to hunt and reminds him that he will not even be allowed to use a gun until he is at least twenty-one years old.

His hopes dashed, the narrator is further disheartened to observe that his home is perfectly situated for hunting. He notes that his home is seated snugly in a fertile area near a forest, a river, and a mountain range. He also marvels that the sheer variety of plant and animal life near their home is too tempting to resist. In fact, he feels that he was born to hunt. He studies tracks of the various animals that inhabit the area near his home, especially those of raccoons. The more he sees, the more difficult it becomes for him to be without dogs. He simply cannot quench his longing for hounds and the hunting experience, so he approaches his parents again. Again, he fails.

This time the narrator is crushed, and his inward disappointment is reflected in his outward manner. He loses his appetite; becomes less active; and suffers conflicting feelings because, as badly as he wants...

(The entire section is 748 words.)