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The Scarlet Ibis
by James Hurst
William "Doodle" Armstrong Timeline and Summary
When Doodle is born most people think he won't live very long. Two months pass and he's still alive, so his parents name him. The name they chose is William Armstrong. At two-years-old Doodle learns to crawl and talk. Then he starts hanging out with Brother all the time, enjoying nature. When he's five Brother helps him learn to walk. On his sixth birthday, he shows the family his new skill. He and Brother seem to really be enjoying each other's company and they spend lots of time at Old Woman Swamp. Brother has decided teach Doodle how to run, swim, and be athletic, in preparation for his upcoming entrance into school. He accepts the challenge but it proves to be too much. On the Saturday before school starts, he finds a scarlet ibis in a tree in the family yard. The ibis dies before his eyes, and he buries. After this, he and Brother go to Horsehead Landing. He's tired but Brother makes him row the boat and then run in the rain. Brother is mad at him and he runs away from him in the storm. When Brother turns around, he finds Doodle dead, with blood streaming from his mouth.