Chapter 9 Summary

It rained last night, and today is another beautiful April morning. Jody has eaten so well for the past few days that he is hardly hungry. As he is leisurely chopping wood, his father comes from the barn, dangling a strange white object. It is a raccoon, but Baxter explains it is an anomaly called an albino. It was killed in the barn trap, which makes Jody sad. He wishes he could have kept him for a pet. His mother does not think that raccoons should be pets.

Baxter and Jody convince Ora that the white hide would not sell for much so Jody can keep it. Baxter wishes he had enough money to build a well, and Jody wonders why his father chose to build his homestead so far from any fresh water. His father does not complain about wearing the heavy yoke on his shoulders to carry the water, and his mother does not complain about having had to use water sparingly for the past twenty years.

Jody takes his hoe to the sink-hole. It is a hole is sixty feet deep, very wide, and older than Baxter. Jody follows the worn trail to the bottom where a clear pool of water sits. He has a sense of being alone here, but he does not feel lonely. He takes his hoe to the limestone trough, clearing out the leaves and debris. His father joins him, and Jody asks why he chose this land. Baxter says he simply “craved peace,” and he has gotten it, with the exception of a few wild animals and, occasionally, his wife.

Jody wishes again for a pet to cherish and asks his father if animals can be tamed when they are young. Baxter says everything can be tamed—except for the human tongue.