Study Guide

The Ear, the Eye, the Arm Chapter 2

By Nancy Farmer

Chapter 2

  • Tendai, Rita, and Kuda start out each morning together. Sure, they are different ages and learn various subjects, but they practice martial arts together.
  • Kuda might be the youngest, but he's a pro when it comes to martial arts. Why? He's fearless. Tendai, on the other hand, spends a lot of time daydreaming.
  • Each day, the kids get their school lessons from private instructors who come to the house. Their dad has lots of enemies in Zimbabwe, and he thinks it's better if they never leave the property.
  • Sure, school at home might sound like a bunch of lounging around, but Tendai wishes he could go outside sometimes. It's a little isolating staying inside their estate walls all the time.
  • He and his siblings are part of the Scouts, but even their meetings are done electronically. Instead of joining a real life group, they use a holophone in order to see other Scout members.
  • This wouldn't be much of a problem except Tendai really wants to get the next merit badge. He can't become an Eagle Scout without an explorer badge, and he's not going to get that sitting around at home.
  • Tendai decides to ask his dad if he can leave the property for just long enough to get his badge. Kuda thinks he will chicken out.
  • When he gets to his dad's library, he overhears the martial arts instructor reporting the day's lesson to his dad.
  • The guy seems very cautious around his dad since most people are afraid of the old general.
  • Still, the martial arts instructor tells it like it is: He reports that Tendai isn't much of a warrior and spends too much time thinking and worrying about what his opponent is feeling. Empathy is a great trait, but not on the battlefield.
  • Now Kuda, on the other hand, is a born soldier and will do well in the military.
  • Tendai's dad isn't happy to hear this, but before he can react, he catches Tendai eavesdropping and tears the kid a new one.
  • Poor Tendai runs to his room crying.
  • While there, he notices a bird that keeps staring out the window. He turns off the high-tech force field keeping the bird inside so it can fly free. At least one of them shouldn't be trapped.

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