Study Guide

The Ear, the Eye, the Arm Chapter 17

By Nancy Farmer

Chapter 17

  • Back at home, Mother worries. She knows her kids are alive at least, but beyond that, all she knows is that the She Elephant had them and then they ran away with some guy named Trashman.
  • Even his name sounds irresponsible and dangerous. She can hardly make it through the day without getting upset.
  • The General has already tracked down every single person who will talk to him, and the detectives are working the best they can.
  • Arm is still injured from the bite. It's not so much the blood loss or wound as it is the trauma of the event that's hurting him. Arm felt the hatred of the vlei people, and he hasn't been able to get out bed since.
  • Mother has an idea of how to help. She has to do something to help find her kids.
  • Her husband is sick with worry, and what's worse, he blames himself for the kids escaping in the first place. He wishes he had given them more freedom when he had the chance.
  • Mother decides to get the Mellower back in shape—the guy has been doing nothing but drinking sherry and wallowing in his room since the kids went missing.
  • She tells him to get out of bed and get dressed. Mother even programs the robot dog to chase him back and forth so he gets some exercise.
  • She tells the Mellower that he needs to stop sulking and get on with life. She has a job for him.
  • Mother figures that Arm could really use the praise right now.
  • She asks the Mellower to pay him a visit, and right away, the guy lights up. He loves dishing out praises.
  • The Mellower arrives at Ear, Eye, and Arm's pad and immediately compliments them on their messy place.
  • Then he spends time crafting lofty praises for Arm. He tells Arm how courageous and strong he is to have been injured; he's a hero.
  • Since this is the first time Ear, Eye, or Arm have ever heard professional praise, all of them are instantly under the Mellower's spell and in trances by the time the Mellower is done.
  • Arm even gets a glimpse into the Mellower's mind while it's going down and realizes the guy is very kind and generous.
  • When the praise is done, Arm suggests that General Matsika offer a reward to find his lost kids, which the Mellower thinks is an excellent idea of course.

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