Student Question

Why does Penny prefer hunting wolves to poisoning them in The Yearling?

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Penny has a number of objections to the idea of poisoning the wolves.  The first is a very practical concern, that of not being sure that the wolves will get the poison and perhaps some other animal will, whether it is the Forrester's dogs or even his own.  The fact that the poison can't discriminate between wolves and non wolves makes him shy about using it.

The second reason is the fact that he feels that on some level it just isn't right, that any animal deserves a chance, even if it is a chance to be hunted and trapped rather than poisoned.  Something about it strikes Penny as unfair, even to practice on wolves.

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Why does Penny Baxter insist on hunting the wolves instead of poisoning them?

Penny has always shown a great respect for animals, he doesn't hunt for sport and he wouldn't see any wild thing suffer if he could avoid it.  So he approaches the question of the wolves the same way, practically and without a desire to see any animals killed without reason.

Since it is just as likely that dogs or some other animal might eat the poison as the wolves, he decides it would be far better for them to actually make sure to hunt the wolves directly rather than hope they eat the poison and die.

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