Study Guide

The Yearling Chapter 9

By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Chapter 9

  • Penny shows Jody an albino raccoon he caught in a trap.
  • Ma wants to sell the hide, but Penny tells her it's not worth anything (wink, wink), and asks her to make Jody a knapsack out of it.
  • Jody offers to clean the water troughs in their sinkhole, and Penny tells them he wishes he could have a well dug. Bricks are too expensive, you know.
  • Ma chimes in, saying she wouldn't know what to do with so much water. For 20 years she's had to make do with the water Penny carried from the sinkhole. Wow—we bet they turn the water off when they brush their teeth and everything!
  • Jody heads out to clean it, and looks over Penny's awesome set-up.
  • This guy is seriously clever. There's always a seepage of water down into the sinkhole, filtered through the limestone. The pool at the very bottom is where the hogs drink and wallow.
  • But Penny cut several other troughs into the limestone higher up, to catch the seepage. The lowest is for the cows and horse to drink, the next is where Ma does the laundry, and at the top is the one for them to drink and cook with. Pretty clever, right?
  • Jody goes down to the bottom and digs out all the leaves and sand.
  • Then he scrubs the next three troughs out, too, but stops to drink out of the top one. And then sticks his face in it. And then, naturally, does a headstand in it.
  • Of course, that's when his Pa shows up wanting a drink. Turns out he's not that thirsty.
  • Penny tells him he can't believe it's been 20 years that poor Ory has had to make do with the water from the sinkhole.
  • For some reason, Jody chooses this moment to tell Penny he really wants a pet. Penny tells him Ma would say no, even though he wouldn't mind.