Study Guide

The Wee Free Men Cunning and Cleverness

By Terry Pratchett

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Cunning and Cleverness

Even though Tiffany has a pretty sturdy frying pan, sheer brute strength isn't going to save her in The Wee Free Men. Nope, Tiffany has to rely on her mind—specifically on her ability to think critically (that's all Second and Third Thought are anyway). By being able to think things through well and to analyze her own thoughts and actions, Tiffany is able to make the best decisions of all.

And it's not just on Tiffany to put her cleverness into use. The toad in the story happens to be a former lawyer, and his brand of cleverness comes into play when the pictsies are attacked by magical lawyers. He manages to stave them of with some of his own legalese. Not too shabby for a stinky toad.

Questions About Cunning and Cleverness

  1. How does Tiffany manage to outwit the Queen's carefully placed drome traps? How does she manipulate the dreams herself?
  2. Why did the toad come in handy at the very end? How do the pictsies regard him?
  3. Why are words so important to the story?
  4. What do you think makes up the Second and Third Thought?

Chew on This

Tiffany's Second and Third Thought capabilities aren't an indicator of magic at all—they just show that she's smart and can think critically.

The reason Tiffany's able to defeat the Queen's evil magic is because she can see the weaknesses and tricks in the Queen's plan, and this allows her to manipulate her world.

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