Study Guide

Belle Prater's Boy Chapter 6

By Ruth White

Chapter 6

  • On Sunday, Gypsy is all dressed up for Sunday school when they walk over to the Presbyterian church. Their class has ten kids in it and is made up of the eleven and twelve-year-olds.
  • Everyone starts bombarding Woodrow with questions because they've never met him before.
  • The teacher, Mrs. Compton, starts talking about Jesus healing the sick. Then Woodrow stands up and tells a ridiculous story about a guy named Buck who had a tapeworm so large that his stomach looked like a watermelon. Whoa.
  • It's pretty irrelevant and the teacher gets annoyed, but when no one's looking, Woodrow winks at Gypsy—he's just messing with everyone and telling tall tales. She tries not to crack up.
  • They go back outside to meet up with their family after Sunday school, and the school principal's wife, who is a total killjoy, walks right up to Woodrow and grabs his face.
  • She tells him that he's not much to look at and obviously takes after his mother. And then she says she hopes he isn't as hardheaded as his mother was. How rude.
  • Then they all go home and Gypsy and Woodrow hang out while the women make dinner. They also play with Dawg and vacuum her belly, which she loves for some reason.
  • That evening, Gypsy takes Woodrow to the tree house that her father built for her when she was five. It's a two-story tree house, which is super impressive.
  • Woodrow references the line in the poem that says, "You must ask for what you really want," and Gypsy asks him what he really wants. He says that he wants his mother to come home and his eyes to be straight.
  • Gypsy says that she wants to cut off her hair, which shocks Woodrow because it's so beautiful and everyone loves it. Gypsy says it's too much work, plus she feels invisible underneath all that hair.
  • They sit there for a moment, then Gypsy asks him if he thinks that Aunt Belle asked for what she really wanted that morning. He says he thinks she asked to get out of her life and that she got her wish.
  • He's about to say more when Gypsy's mother starts calling for Gypsy to come inside and brush her hair. See what she meant when she said having hair that long is way too much work?
  • Woodrow tells her that if she sneaks out tonight and meets him at the tree house, he'll tell her everything else he knows about Aunt Belle leaving.
  • They agree to meet in an hour.

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