Study Guide

A Northern Light Chapter 13

By Jennifer Donnelly

Chapter 13

xerophilous

  • Still in the springtime, Mattie is in Mrs. Loomis's kitchen, apologizing for Daisy, the cow who smashed the Loomis's fence. Mrs. Loomis doesn't seem all that inclined to forgive the misbehaving cow.
  • As some molasses cookies are cooling on the counter, Mrs. Loomis gives one to Lou and Beth to split, but not one to Mattie; Mattie wonders how Mr. Loomis puts up with his miserly wife.
  • Mattie's word of the day is xerophilous, meaning able to survive drought; she wonders if the word only applies to plants and not people.
  • As the girls walk to get Daisy and her calf, they encounter Royal. He chucks a rock at Daisy, and she runs out of the pond right into the noose that the girls use as a leash.
  • When Royal walks the girls home, he talks about farming the whole time: planting, sheep, and more. And when Mattie says she has the chance to go to college, he stops and wonders why she would go because he doesn't understand why she would want to read and write books.
  • Hidden by a short hill, Royal kisses Mattie. Then he makes a weird face and kisses her again. Then he touches her breast. Mattie says to stop, which he does, though teasingly, as if Mattie would never get a better offer. (For the record, we're not such huge fans of Royal.)

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