by Cynthia Lord

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What is Jason's reaction to Catherine's surprise in Rules?

Quick answer:

In Cynthia Lord's Rules, Jason enjoys Catherine's surprise when she brings Nutmeg to visit him. He is not, however, happy with one of the special cards she makes, because she does not draw his wheelchair on the “Together” card. Jason appreciates the new “Together” card Catherine draws, and he says that her gift of a guitar is perfect.

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In Cynthia Lord's novel Rules, Catherine surprises Jason more than once. The first time, she brings her guinea pig, Nutmeg, to the clinic so Jason can see the little creature who had so enjoyed his gift of carrots. Jason is so surprised that his mouth drops open. He works hard to control his movements so he doesn't frighten Nutmeg, but he enjoys petting her, and he seems to specially appreciate Catherine's thoughtfulness in bringing her pet.

The second time, Catherine surprises Jason by making a special set of communication cards that commemorate their time together at the beach. Jason likes the new cards, but when Catherine gets to the card marked “Together,” Jason becomes upset, for Catherine has drawn the two of them sitting on a bench instead of depicting Jason in his wheelchair. Catherine is trying to show a scene like Jason might have dreamed, but Jason wants reality. He leaves in a huff, but later the two apologize to each other.

Catherine prepares the third surprise for Jason's birthday. She recreates the “Together” card with a picture of Jason in his wheelchair next to herself on the red bench. Jason smiles at that. But Catherine has one more surprise for him. She has remembered what she overheard the day they met, how Jason wants a guitar, so she buys one from the antique store, cleans it up, and gives it to him for his birthday. Jason's smile widens. It is the perfect guitar, he indicates. Then he plays the piano for Catherine, a song he has composed.

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