Study Guide

A Day No Pigs Would Die Chapter 2

By Robert Newton Peck

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Chapter 2

  • As chapter 2 opens, the narrator hears someone calling out "Haven Peck," which is his father's name.
  • His eyes are open, but he can't see; he's wrapped up in a wool blanket. He's pretty much sore all over, but his arm hurts most of all.
  • The neighbor, Mr. Tanner, has carried the narrator home, and he tells his parents that the narrator's arm is torn up and may be broken.
  • They notice that he's got something in his hand, and when they pry it out they discover that it's a goiter.
  • Basically, this is the gross thing that mama cow had stuck in her throat. And our narrator's been holding onto it for dear life. Yuck.By the way, our narrator's name is Robert. Robert Peck. Hmm… sounds familiar somehow, doesn't it?
  • Robert's Mama goes to get a needle and thread because his arm needs to be sewn up.
  • Robert wants to yell out as she sews him up, but he's just too exhausted.
  • Afterward, when his parents carry him up to his bedroom and put him in bed, he rallies enough to tell them about what happened up on the ridge, how he helped the cow give birth, and what happened to his trousers.
  • Later, after he's slept for a while, his Papa brings him an apple.
  • Although Papa isn't happy that Rob was skipping school—"I don't cotton to raise a fool," he says (2.46)—he seems to think that Rob's already been punished enough. Amen.
  • Papa offers Rob a piece of spruce gum, a kind of homemade gum made from the sap of the spruce tree.
  • It's clear that this is a real treat for Rob.
  • Then Papa shows him a whistle that he's making for him.
  • When Papa tucks him in, Rob can tell from the way Papa smells that he's been killing pigs today.
  • But then, since he butchers pigs for a living, he always smells that way except after his weekly bath on Saturday night. Um… yeah.

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