Study Guide

The Once and Future King Book 1, Chapter 18

By T.H. White

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Book 1, Chapter 18

  • In the middle of the night, Archimedes brings Wart a dead mouse, and instructs him to eat it. Ew.
  • It seems that Wart has already transformed into an owl, so the mouse is delicious.
  • Archimedes spends some time teaching Wart how to fly properly (and not like a woodpecker), and Wart discovers owls can see in the dark—kind of like they're wearing night-vision goggles.
  • Being an owl is just a temporary diversion. Merlyn really wants him to be a wild goose for a time.
  • Wart, now a goose, flies with the flock, feeling shy that they might not accept him into one of their family groups.
  • Meeting a female goose who seems nice enough, Wart admits he is not really a goose; that he is a human.
  • Wart wants to know if the geese are at war, since they post guards to watch over the flock as they are eating. The she-goose seems to not understand the concept of war.
  • Unknowingly, Wart commits a goose social faux pas: he asks if other bands of geese might attack this group. The she-goose turns her back on him, since—among geese—this thought is just too horrible to contemplate.
  • She really lets him have it, and explains that the geese could be attacked by any number of natural enemies—but they are not so stupid and brutish as to attack their own kind, thankyouverymuch.
  • Wart tells the she-goose (her name is Lyo-lyok) that he likes fighting because it's knightly.
  • She calls him a baby.

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