Study Guide

A Monster Calls Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

The Rest of the First Tale

  • Turns out that when the villagers lit the fire, the monster grabbed the queen and saved her. He took her away to a village by the sea to live in peace.
  • Conor flips. How could the monster protect a murderer? To which the monster's all, um, I never said she was a murderer. The prince said she was a murderer. 
  • This prompts Conor to ask the obvious question: so who did it, then?
  • Preferring to show rather than tell, the monster, with a sweep of its arms, conjures the scene in Conor's yard.
  • After the princess falls asleep, the prince goes to his horse, unties it from the tree, and pulls a knife out of the saddlebag. Then he smacks the horse on the butt and sends it running.
  • It turns out that the prince hated the queen, because she was indeed a witch. But he knew he couldn't overthrow her on his own; he needed the villagers' help.
  • His solution? Kill the princess, tell the villagers it's the queen's fault, and get her burned at the stake. Then he can rule forever.
  • Which, except for the monster-sweeping-the-queen-away part, is exactly what happens.
  • Conor gets the lesson: the prince was a jerk, the queen wasn't a witch after all, and Conor should be nice to his grandma.
  • The monster laughs. Like he would ever turn into a monster just to teach some kid a lesson in niceness. The queen was a witch, but she wasn't a murderer
  • That's why he saved her. 
  • Conor's confused: who's the good guy, then?
  • The monster says there's really no such thing as good guys. Most people are a mixture of good and bad—like the queen. And the prince, for that matter.
  • Conor wants to know how this story is supposed to save him from his grandma, to which the monster replies it's not his grandma he needs saving from.
  • Conor wakes up, and of course it's 12:07.
  • And of course there's a yew sapling growing from a knot in his floorboard. 
  • He goes into the kitchen and gets a knife to saw it down.

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