07 Pine Billy

ambles – walks in a leisurely manner
geeing – commanding to a horse or mule
meandering – wandering
tedious – tiresome, boring

  1. Why does Little Tree plow when Granma is not around?
  2. Describe a humorous incident in the story, which illustrates the following passage: “…Granpa said it had been a worrisome puzzlement to him for many years whether ol’ Sam was the dumbest mule in the world, or the smartest.”
  3. Briefly describe Pine Billy. Why do you think he is welcome in Granpa’s home?
  4. Point out two examples of humor in the stories Pine Billy tells Granpa. What do these situations point out about the characters?
  5. One of the overall themes in this novel is Granpa’s distrust of politicians and the govern- ment. Knowing this, why do you suppose the mule’s name is “ol’ Sam”? In what sense might Carter be poking fun at or satirizing the government in this chapter?