Study Guide

Walk Two Moons Chapter 12

By Sharon Creech

Chapter 12

The Marriage Bed

  • Gram and Gramps become more and more interested in the story of Phoebe Winterbottom. But they're quite kooky, so they interrupt a lot to ask questions or to give Sal kisses.
  • Near the South Dakota border, Gramps decides to take a slight detour north Pipestone, MN. At the national monument, they learn all about the sacred rock that American Indians have quarried (cut) for centuries to create sacred pipes. Gramps, Gram, and Sal share a peace pipe with someone.
  • While she's there, Sal asks a man if he is Native American. The man tells her he is a person. 
  • Sal doesn't quite catch his drift, so she asks him again if he is Native American, and he responds by telling her he is American Indian. She is, too. 
  • Aside from this strange encounter, though, everyone is very friendly in Pipestone.
  • That night, they stay at a motel. Sal tells us that every night, Gramps pats the bed that he will sleep in and say, "'well, this ain't our marriage bed, but it will do.'" (12.13) What's this all about?
  • Apparently, Gram and Gramps' bed in Bybanks has been around for a really long time. It belonged to Gramps' parents before it belonged to him and Gram. He and all of his siblings were born in that bed, and his children were born in that bed. That's some serious history. 
  • This story gives Sal an opportunity to tell us a little bit about how Gram and Gramps met, so we flash back to the olden days in Kentucky. 
  • In the flashback, Gram is a wild thing who runs free in the fields and meadows. Gramps sees her one day and just knows she's his true love. 
  • He chases her around for twenty-two days, and on the twenty-third day, he asks her father for permission to marry her. Her father says he can go right ahead if he can manage to catch her. So Gramps proposes to Gram on the spot. 
  • Her response? She asks him if he has a dog. We're sure that's not the answer he's looking for, but he plays along anyway, and tells her he has a beagle. 
  • So Gram asks Gramps how he treats his beagle, and Gramps tells her how much he loves and adores his beagle. Right then and there, Gram agrees to marry him. Guess she likes dogs. 
  • On the night of their wedding, they return to the little cabin that they've just built and that will be their home, and they find a bed. It turns out, Gramps' father and brothers sneaked the bed in during the wedding party as a surprise present. This bed has been in Gramps' family for a long time, and it is now their "marriage bed."

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