Study Guide

The Wee Free Men Chapter 7

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Chapter 7

First Sight, and Second Thoughts

  • When Tiffany enters the room filled with gold, she starts thinking of all sorts of fancy dictionary words to describe the place.
  • She meets the kelda, and they talk about how her brother is safe, but there's evil in that too; the kelda says that she can tell that Tiffany has the First Sights and the Second Thoughts.
  • Apparently the Queen steals children because she has none of her own, and she dotes on them and gives them only what they want—which means that in Wentworth's case, he will grow up with only sweets, which isn't good.
  • Then something surprising happens. The kelda says that she cannot hang on much longer, and that she'll agree to a trade: if she points Tiffany in the direction she needs to travel in order to find the Queen, then Tiffany has to take over as kelda.
  • Fion, the kelda's daughter, is upset, but the kelda tells her that a daughter cannot run her mother's clan, and that it's only temporary anyway. Tiffany will have to do the thinking for all the boys.
  • Because Fion is so angry, Tiffany agrees. Then the kelda prepares to die—but first she wants some of that Special Sheep Liniment.
  • The kelda tells Tiffany where to find Wentworth then quietly passes away. The whole hall grows silent, and Tiffany again recalls the day that Granny Aching died and how she was the one who found her.
  • One of the pictsies explains to Tiffany that all the Feegles are quiet right now because they're mourning their mother, and the reason that Fion can't become the kelda of this clan is because she cannot marry one of her brothers.
  • Tiffany spends some time talking to the pictsies about where the Queen was last seen, and then she goes back into the mound, where Rob Anybody offers her a cup of tea.
  • Then she hears them talking about her… they're saying things about how she's big, and that she'll be able to have a lot of kids, and something about how she'll "choose" Rob Anybody. Uh-oh…
  • When she asks Rob Anybody about it, he tells her that it is clan rules that the new kelda has to choose someone from the clan to marry and then name the day that they're going to wed.
  • Tiffany is completely horrified, and she has to think about how to get out of it for a moment. She tells them that she has to go outside for a moment to decide, whereupon she calls the toad frantically.
  • She goes back in and decides that there is a way to get out of it. She tells Rob Anybody that she accepts his proposal (which he seems really miserable about), and then says that there's a huge mountain at the end of the world where a tiny bird flies all the way to the rock once a year to wipe its beak. When the bird has worn the mountain down to a grain of sand, she'll marry him.
  • At this news, Rob Anybody looks a lot more cheerful—it will literally take millions of years for the bird to accomplish this. Phew.
  • They set out to a place with a bunch of old rocks, which is where Tiffany hopes to find the doorway to the Queen's land.
  • Everyone's looking at her expectantly, so Tiffany has to do something; she starts reading random parts of the Diseases of the Sheep book, hoping it will look impressive.
  • As she reads, she sees teddy bear candy out of the corner of her eye. She starts to follow the trail of teddy bears while pretending that the book is what's helping her, and this leads her to the entrance to another world.
  • Tiffany walks through the entrance with her eyes shut, and when she opens them again, she's in a black-and-white landscape.

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