Jody Baxter, a young Florida boy. A lover of animals, of play, and of the excitement of hunting, Jody is a child at the beginning of the story. Matured by the experiences of one year—his father’s illnesses, the death of Fodder-wing, and the killing of Flag—Jody is at the end of the novel ready to accept the responsibilities that come with growing up. One of the most appealing and believable boys in American fiction, Jody deserves comparison with Tom Aldrich, Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and Stephen Crane’s Whilomville boys.
Ezra “Penny” Baxter
Ezra “Penny” Baxter, his father, a friend and companion to his son, who idolizes him. Penny’s diminutive size only increases Jody’s admiration of his father’s ability to hunt and work hard for a plain living. Penny possesses scrupulous honesty and a simple philosophy of life that he attempts to pass on to his son. Both father and son are drawn to the beauty of the rich and varied natural world about them.
Ora “Ma” Baxter
Ora “Ma” Baxter, Jody’s mother, a bulky woman considerably larger than her husband. She loves Jody but is annoyed by his “wasting” time and is unwilling to forgive Flag for his depredations.
Fodder-wing Forrester, Jody’s crippled friend, a frail boy who loves and has a way with animals, especially those that, like himself, have been...
(The entire section is 513 words.)