15 Willow John

fornicate – sexual intercourse without marriage
sedge – grasslike plants
tallow – fat used to make candles, soaps, and lubricants

  1. Little Tree says, “Planting is a pretty tedious proposition.” List four “rules” for planting that Granpa follows. In what sense do these rules seem to be based on superstitions rather than facts?
  2. How does Granpa determine if the watermelon is ripe enough to be picked?
  3. Why do you suppose the B page in the dictionary is torn out?
  4. For what reasons has Granpa “…never taken much to churching”? Why, then, do he and Granma go to church?
  5. Briefly describe Willow John. How does he feel about Little Tree?
  6. Why does Little Tree leave a nickel and a bullfrog in Willow John’s coat pocket?
  7. Why does Willow John wear his hat in church?
  8. What do you think the character of Willow John might represent in this story?
  9. What can you infer from the quotation about Pine Billy’s winning the contest or getting the reward: “He never mentioned it, so we never asked him about it”?
  10. What is happening in the world beyond Little Tree’s home?