The Red Pony
How we cite our quotes:
The bird looked much smaller dead than it had alive. Jody felt a little mean pain in his stomach, so he took out his pocketknife and cut off the bird's head. (2.5)
Whoa. This isn't the same buzzard that Jody killed in a heat of fiery passion after Gabilan's death. This is an entirely new bird that was just minding its own business when it had the misfortune of crossing paths with a disturbed young Jody Tiflin. Is Jody becoming a bad boy?
Jody walked up through the vegetable patch, toward the brush line. He looked searchingly at the towering mountains—ridge after ridge until at last there was the ocean. For a moment he thought he could see a black speck crawling up the farthest ridge. (3.173)
Here's what we're dying to know: do you think Gitano is riding off to meet his death? Or does he have another, sunnier destination in mind?
Billy jumped to the swollen stomach; his pocketknife was in his hand. He lifted the skin and drove the knife in. He sawed and ripped through the tough belly. The air filled with the sick odor of warm living entrails. (3.170)
Ah, horse death number two. Steel yourselves, Shmoopers. The death here is a gruesome one, but it's also a nice sacrifice. The mare's death ensures the colt's survival.