Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Chapter 4

By Ruth White

Chapter 4

  • Granny tells Gypsy that she has to practice piano and take care of her hair, which is something she dreads.
  • Her hair is super long and has to be done twice a week; it takes hours to dry. She has to brush it one hundred times each night, too, and then her mother rolls the ends on paper rollers for her to sleep in. It's a total pain, but it's a huge source of pride for her mother.
  • Gypsy's also been taking piano lessons from Granny since she was six years old and has to practice for an hour each day on the weekends. She's a kid with quite a few responsibilities.
  • Woodrow tells her that Aunt Belle played the piano, even though they couldn't afford to own one. She would play at the church on Sundays.
  • Everyone's having a super nice time at the party when Woodrow asks if they can do this on his birthday, too. He says that his birthday is January first and that he was born right at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
  • Of course everyone tells him that they'll celebrate when his birthday rolls around.
  • The phone rings and it's for Porter's brother, Doc Dot, saying he has to come quick because someone is having a seizure. So the party scatters and Woodrow and Gypsy go outside to feed Dawg.
  • Then Woodrow tells Gypsy that his mother told him that when they die, they're allowed to live one day over and over again exactly as it was—and he would choose today.
  • Gypsy is surprised because today's only been sort of special to her, but it's obviously the best day of Woodrow's life.
  • Woodrow says that he loves it here and that he can't understand why his mother ever left Coal Station to go marry his father. He feels like this is the sort of place where nothing could ever hurt you.

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