| Quote #4
As he went back toward the house, Jody knew one thing more sharply than he had ever known anything. He must never tell anyone about the rapier. It would be a dreadful thing to tell anyone about it, for it would destroy some fragile structure of truth. It was a truth that might be shattered by division. (2.152)
Okay, Jody, it's just a sword. No need to get all worked up. We wonder if he wants to keep the rapier a secret because his parents might think it's dangerous, or if he just wants to share something with a stranger. Either way, it's clear he's forging new bonds, and breaking some old ones.
| Quote #5
A longing caressed him, and it was so sharp that he wanted to cry to get it out of his breast. He lay down in the green grass near the round tub at the brush line. He covered his eyes with his crossed arms and lay there a long time, and he was full of a nameless sorrow. (2.173)
From these lines, it's clear that Jody isn't your average happy-go-lucky kid. He's got deep thoughts and feelings that are worthy of a grown man.
| Quote #6
And in the house, after listening to his mother's despair over boys who filled their lunch pails with slimy, suffocated reptiles, and bugs, he promised never to do it again. Indeed, Jody felt that all such foolishness was lost in the past. He was far too grown up ever to put horny-toads in his lunch pail any more. (3.38)
So one second Jody's playing practical jokes on his mom, and the next he's far too grown up for that? What happened in the span of just a few minutes? Oh, that's right—his father promised him a new baby colt. That means Jody's gotta buckle down and get to growing up.