| Quote #4
"Well, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Let Fern associate with her friends in the barn if she wants to. I would say, offhand, that spiders and pigs were fully as interesting as Henry Fussy. Yet I predict that the day will come when even Henry will drop some chance remark that catches Fern's attention. It's amazing how children change from year to year." (14.53)
Dr. Dorian isn't worried at all about little Fern. He figures she'll eventually care more about boys than she does about animals. What do you think of this proposed transition from animals to boys? Sounds to us like animals and boys have at least one thing in common: the ability to attract Fern's attention.
| Quote #5
Fern lugged a pail of hot water to her room and took a sponge bath. Then she put on her prettiest dress because she knew she would see boys at the Fair. (16.3)
On the day of the County Fair, Fern wants to get gussied up. And is it because of all the animals she might see? Nope, Fern seems to be moving from the animal phase into her boy crazy phase.
| Quote #6
Fern met her friend Henry Fussy, and he invited her to ride with him in the Ferris wheel. He even bought a ticket for her, so it didn't cost her anything. When Mrs. Arable happened to look up into the starry sky and saw her little daughter sitting with Henry Fussy and going higher and higher into the air, and saw how happy Fern looked, she just shook her head. "My, my!" she said. "Henry Fussy. Think of that!" (18.5)
Sounds like Fern might be on a date. What do you think of Mrs. Arable's reaction? She certainly sounds surprised. Do you think Mama Arable also sounds pleased? Or worried? And isn't Fern a little young to be going on dates?