complete Of Mice and Men

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complete Of Mice and Men Powered By Docstoc
					By John Steinbeck
                                                                                      2




                 This book was modified from its original version
                             by Hammond High School
                     Gifted and Talented Intern/Mentor student

                                  Alona Snyder
                     under the guidance and supervision of her
                     G/T Resource Teacher Mrs. April Lerner.




A special thank you goes out to Special Education Teacher Mrs. Sheryl Baker for her
                     guidance and support during this project.
                                                                                   3



         Two very different men are traveling through some
woods on their way to a new job at a ranch, which is a kind
of work farm. One of the men is small and quick. He is very
alert of what is going on around him. The small man’s
name is George.


    The other man, named Lennie, follows the small man. He is large and
heavy. This man is dragging his feet a little, the way a bear drags his paws. He
seems slightly unaware of his surroundings. They both have hats.


    The two men walk up to a river, and the larger man, Lennie, leans down and
starts to drink the water like a horse.
                                                                      4



    George, the smaller man, says to Lennie, “Do not drink so much!
You are going to be sick like you were last night!”


    Lennie put his entire head,
with his hat still on his head,
under the water. Lennie, the
larger man, smiles and says to
George, the smaller man,
“You should drink
some, George.”


    George puts down the bag
with supplies and says, “I do
not think that water
                                                                           5



is good to drink.” Then he bends down next to the water. He scoops
some water into his hands and drinks it. He says to Lennie, “The water
tastes alright. But, you really should not drink
water that is not moving fast. But, Lennie, you would
drink out of a gutter if you were thirsty.”


                                            George takes off his hat and
                                        splashes some water on his face.
                                        Lennie watches and repeats
                                        exactly what George does. Then
                                        Lennie nervously looks at George
                                        and asks, “George, where
                                        are we going?”
                                                6



    This question makes George feel
irritated. He says angrily to Lennie, “I
told you before! You forgot
already?”


    Lennie looks at the ground and quietly
says, “I tried really hard not
to forget. I really did.”


     George reluctantly agrees to tell Lennie
where they are going again.


    Lennie knows George is angry with him,
so before George says where they are going
                                                             7



Lennie goes on to say, “I tried and tried not to forget. I
just could not remember. But I did not forget about
the rabbits.”

                  George says, “Forget about the rabbits!
               All you ever think about is rabbits! Now
               listen this time and remember. Do you
               remember when we got the bus tickets and
               work cards?”

   Lennie says, “Oh I remember that now, George.” Lennie
put his hands in his pockets to look for his work card and
bus ticket. “George…. I think I lost mine.”
                                                            8



   George says meanly, “No, I have yours. Do you think I
would let you carry your own work card?”

   Lennie is relieved and says; “I thought I put it in my
pocket.” Lennie puts his hands back into his pockets.

   George asks, “What did you take out of your pocket?”


   Lennie says, “There is nothing in my pocket.”


   George says, “I know there is nothing in your pocket
now because you took it out. What did you take out of
your pocket?”
                                                                9



    Lennie holds out a lifeless mouse. Lennie
says, “I did not kill it. It was
not alive when I found it. I
just wanted something to pet.
Please let me keep it.”


    George takes the mouse and throws it
across the river. George says. “Now do you
remember where we are going?”


    Lennie is embarrassed that he still does not remember.


    George is aggravated and says, “We are going to work at a
ranch. Like we did in Weed.”
                                   10




Lennie remembers Weed.


    George reminds Lennie what
they are going to do when they get to
the ranch. “When we go see
the boss, you are not
going to talk at all. I
am going to do all of
the talking. You just
keep your mouth shut so
we do not get in trouble
again.”
                                                             11



   Lennie repeats to himself, “I am not going to say anything…
I am not going to say anything… I am not going to say
anything.”

   George says, “Okay
and you are also not
going to get into
any trouble like you
did in Weed.”


   Lennie says happily
because he remembers,
“They chased us out
of Weed. They looked
                                                                                 12



for us but we hid, and they did not catch us. I did
not forget that.”


    George starts to make Lennie feel guilty because he talks about all the
things he could do if he did not have to take care of Lennie. Then he tells Lennie
to go get some firewood so they can make a fire to cook some beans to eat.


    When Lennie goes to get firewood, he also picks up the dead mouse that
George threw across the river. When George finds out he gets angry. He takes
the mouse away again and yells at Lennie. This hurts Lennie’s feelings.


    George says. “You cannot have mice because you always
squeeze them too tight and kill them.” George starts a fire
and starts to cook the beans in the can.
                                            13




    George begins to yell at Lennie about
the reason why they were chased out of
Weed. “You touched that girl‟s
dress, then she went and told
everyone you raped her. Just
because you wanted to touch
the dress does not mean that
you should! How does she know
you just wanted to touch her
dress? When she tried to get
away, you held on to her like
you do with mice.”
                                                                                  14



    It is now dark. George has hurt Lennie’s feelings a lot, so Lennie says. “I
should just leave.”


    But George convinces Lennie not to go off by himself because he could not
live. George says he was just kidding about what he said.


    Lennie starts to beg George to tell him about
the rabbits. Since George feels bad about hurting
Lennie’s feelings, George agrees to tell Lennie
about the rabbits again.


    George says, “Guys like us have
no one to care about them. But
you and I are different because
                                                                               15



we have each other and a future other than going from
ranch to ranch looking for work. Someday we will have
a place of our own with a vegetable garden and
chickens and rabbits.”


    Suddenly, the beans start to explode. George stops telling the story and
rushes over to take care of the beans. He tells Lennie that he does not have time
to tell him anymore.


    They start to eat the beans. George asks Lennie, “What are you
going to say to the boss tomorrow when he asks you
questions?”

    Lennie says, “I am not going to say anything at all.”
                                                         16




  George says proudly, “Exactly. If you can remember this I
can let you take care of the rabbits when we get our
own place. Lennie, look around you and remember this
place. If you get into any trouble at this new place
I want you to come right here to hide and wait for me
until I come, okay?”

  Lennie confidently says, “I can
remember that. I remembered
that I am not going to say
anything to the boss didn‟t
I?”
                                               17



     George says, “Okay, good. Now
it is time to go to sleep.”


     Lennie talks a little more about the rabbits
until they fall asleep.
                                                                                 18




         George, the small man, and Lennie, the larger man, get to the ranch
around ten o’clock the next morning. George follows a tall old man into the
bunkhouse, and Lennie follows George.


    George and Lennie look around the bunkhouse that they are going to be
living in while they work at this ranch. They see the beds and other belongings of
all the men who have lived in the bunk since before Lennie and George arrived.
                                      19




    The tall old man carries a push
broom in his left hand because he
has no right hand. He tells George
and Lennie, “The boss
expected you to be here
last night. He was very
angry that you were not
here to work earlier
this morning.” He points to
two beds and says, “You guys
can have these two
beds.”
                                                     20



   George inspects the beds and finds a can of bug
killer. “Why is this here? The can says
that it „positively kills lice,
roaches and other pests.‟ What kind
of beds are you giving us?”

   The tall, old man explains by saying, “The man
who had this bed before you guys
came was obsessed with keeping bugs
away. He probably used the bug
killer even when there were not any
bugs and left it here when he left.
He was just a super clean guy.”
                                                                             21



    George is not sure that he believes this story so he asks, “Why did he
quit?”

    The tall old man says, “Well… he… just quit. He said it
was the food, but he just wanted to move, like guys
do.”


    George starts to set up his bed and the area around it. Lennie watches
George and does the same thing.


    The tall old man says, “The boss should be here soon. He
was really angry when you guys were not here earlier.
He gave the stable buck, the man who takes care of
the horses, a hard time too.”
                                        22




  George asked, “Why did he give the
stable buck trouble?”

  The tall old man explained, “The stable
buck takes good care of the
horses, and he is a nice guy, but
the boss does not respect him.
The stable buck also has a bad
back because a horse kicked him a
long time ago.”
                                                                              23



    While George and the tall old man are talking, and Lennie is making his bed,
the boss comes in. The tall old man leaves, and George introduces himself to the
boss. The boss asks Lennie, “What is your name?”


    George quickly answers for Lennie by
saying, “His name is Lennie.”


    The boss looks doubtfully at George. He
continues to ask George questions. He asks,
“Where are you from?”

    George says, “I came from
Weed.”
                                  24



   The boss looks at Lennie and
asks, “What about you? Are
you from there too?”


   George answers for Lennie
again. George says, “Yes,
Lennie is from Weed
also.”


   The boss comments on George
answering for Lennie, “Lennie
does not talk much does
he?”
                                                                               25



    George says, “No, but he is a very good worker. He is
very strong. He is as strong as a bull.”

    Lennie smiles proudly and says, “Strong as a bull.”


    George looks angrily at Lennie because Lennie is not supposed to talk at all
to the boss.


    This makes the boss angry, and he begins to yell at George. He says,
“Listen George! Why do you keeping                  acting like you
have to convince me that Lennie is                  a good worker? Are
you taking his money? I have never                  seen a guy pay so
much attention to the interests of                  another guy. So
what is in it for you?”
                                                                                  26




    George hesitantly makes up a lie to tell the boss so he can protect himself
and Lennie. George says, “He is………my cousin. He got kicked in
the head by a horse when he was a kid, and I told his
mother that I would take care of him. He is alright,
just not very smart.”


    The boss accepts this
and moves on to his next
question. “Why did you
two leave Weed?”

    George says, “The job
was finished.”
                                                                         27




    The boss says, “Alright, well you guys will be on
Slim‟s team. He is big and tall. You will see him at
dinner.” Then the boss leaves.


    The bunkhouse becomes extremely quiet. George looks at Lennie and says,
“You were not supposed to talk at all.”

    Lennie looks sadly at his hands and says, “I forgot, George.”


    George says, “You always forget.” George sits down, and the
bunkhouse becomes quiet again.
                                                            28



  Lennie asks George, “George, was I really kicked in the
head by a horse?”

  George says angrily, “It would be a good thing if you
were kicked in the head by a horse. It would save
everybody a lot of trouble.”

  Lennie says, “You said I was your cousin George.”


  George says, “Well, that was a lie.”
                                                                               29



    The tall, old man walked back into the bunkhouse with an old scruffy dog
who smells horrible.


    George says, “That dog is really
old.”


    The tall old man looks down and pats the dog on
the head. He says, “Yes, I have had him
ever since he was a puppy. He was a
very good sheep dog when he was
younger.”


    George and the tall, old man start to talk about
the boss when a thin, young man with very curly hair
                                                                                 30



and brown eyes who is wearing boots like the boss and a work glove on his left
hand walk in. He asks the old man, “Have you seen my father?”


                                   The old man says, “Yes, he was just
                               here a minute ago, Curley. He
                               went back to the house.”


                                   Curley, the man with curly hair that just
                               walked in, looks at George and asks, “Are you
                               the new guys?”

                               George says, “Yes.”


                               Curley says, “Let the big guy talk.”
                                                                   31




  Lennie becomes uncomfortable, so George says, “What if he does
not want to?‟

  Curley says meanly, “Why are
you getting involved?”

  George says, “We travel
together.”

  Curley says sarcastically, “Oh,
it is like that. So you do
not let the big guy talk?”
                                                                  32



     George says, “No, he can say something if he wants to
say something to you.” George nods at Lennie, giving him permission
to talk.


     Lennie says quietly, “We just came in.”


     Curley says angrily, “Well next time I talk to you, answer
the first time.” Then Curley walks away.

     George asks the old man, “What is Curley‟s problem?”


     The old man says, “Curley does not like big guys, so he
is always starting fights with them. It is like
Curley is mad at them because he is not big, and he
                                                                  33



wants to prove that he is stronger than big guys
are.”

                             George says, “Well Curley
                          better not mess with Lennie
                          because Lennie will hurt
                          Curley if he starts
                          something.”


                             The tall old man continues to talk
                          about Curley; “He has been
                           acting even meaner since he
got married a couple weeks ago. His wife lives in the
boss‟s house.”
                                                                            34




    George tells Lennie, “Look, I think you are going to have
problems with Curley. I think he is going to try to
start fights with you, and you cannot do anything
about it because he is the boss‟s son. So I want you
to stay as far away from him as you can.”


   Lennie promises to stay away from Curley; however, Lennie is afraid of
Curley still. “George, do not let him hurt me.”


   George also says, “If Curley hits you anyway, I want you
to defend yourself and hit him back, alright?”
                                        35



    Suddenly, a girl walks in. She is
wearing a lot of make-up, and her
fingernails are painted red. She is
wearing a cotton dress. She says, “I
am looking for Curley.”
When she talks, she sounds like she is
talking through her nose a little.


    George looks at her, then looks
away and says, “He just left.”


    She says, “Oh! Hey, aren‟t
you the new guys?”
                                                 36




  George says, “Yes.”


  She stands there a second and says,
“Sometimes Curley is in here.”

  George says, “Well, he is not in
here now, so you better go.”

  She says playfully, “Well, if he is
not in here, I guess I should go
look some place else.”


  Lennie watched her, fascinated. George says,
                                                                             37



“If I see him I will tell him you were looking for
him.”

  Slim, the man that the boss talked about walks in. He says to the girl, “Hi,
good looking.”

  The girl says, “I am looking for Curley,
Slim.”

  Slim says, “Well, you are not trying
very hard; I just saw him walking
toward your house.”

  The girl says, “Bye boys,” and hurries away.
                                                               38




  Lennie says, “She is pretty.”


  George threatens Lennie by saying, “That is Curley‟s wife,
and I bet he is getting ready to beat you up right
now.”

  Lennie gets scared and says, “I do not like this place. It
is not a good place. I want to leave here.”

  George tells Lennie, “We cannot leave
here until we have some more
money.”
                                                                                   39



    Slim is standing at the door. Slim has a sense of authority about him. He is
tall and has large hands. He reminds them, George and Lennie, that it is still light
outside.


    A man named Carlson comes in.


    Then George introduces himself and Lennie to Slim and Carlson. Slim and
Carlson introduce themselves to George and Lennie.


    Slim tells them, “My dog
just   had nine puppies
last   night. I drowned
four   of the smallest
ones   because there were
                                                           40



too many for her to take care of.”

  Carlson says, “So you have five left; are you going to
keep all of them?”

  Slim says, “I do not know yet. I have to keep them for
a while until they at least stop drinking the milk
that they get from their mother.”

  Carlson says, “You should give Candy, the tall old man,
one of your puppies since his dog is so old.”


  Slim agrees.
                                                                                41



    All of the men leave the bunkhouse to go eat dinner except for George and
Lennie.


                                Lennie gets very excited because of the news
                            about the puppies.


                                George says, “I know, I heard him.
                            I will ask Slim if you can have
                            one of the puppies.”


                                Lennie mentions that he wants a brown and
                            white puppy, but George does not promise that it
                            will be brown and white because he does not know
                            what kind of puppies they are. Slim, the tall man
                                                                           42



that the boss talked about, and George walk into the bunkhouse together.
George says to Slim, “Thank you for letting Lennie have one
of your puppies.”

    Slim says, “It is no problem. I would have had to
drown most of them anyway. You do not have to thank
me.”

    George says, “It was not much to
you, but it meant a lot to Lennie.
He is going to want to sleep in
the barn with the puppies. It will
be hard to keep him away from
those puppies.”
                                                                       43




  Slim goes on to say, “You were right about Lennie being a
good worker. He is not very smart, but he did a lot
more work than his partner. No one can keep up with
him. He is the strongest guy I have ever seen.”

                       George says proudly, “Yup, just tell
                   Lennie what to do, and he will do
                   it, as long as he does not have to
                   figure it out. He cannot think of
                   anything by himself, but he can
                   take orders well.”


                       Slim leans back in his chair and continues to
                                                              44



change the subject . He says, “It is strange how you and Lennie
travel together, though.”

   George asks defensively, “What is strange about it?”


   Slim explains that, “Most guys do not travel around
together. I have hardly ever seen two guys travel
together. You know how they are; they come in and
work for about a month and leave alone. They do not
seem to even care about anyone else. It seems strange
that a crazy guy like Lennie and a smart guy like
you, George, are traveling together.”
                                                                   45



    George defends Lennie. “He is not crazy. He is dumb but
not crazy. I must not be that smart either if I am
going around working on these ranches. If I were
smart, I would have my own place.” George stops talking and
the room becomes silent.


    Slim does not encourage or prevent George from continuing.


    George continues without any help from Slim. “It is not that
strange that Lennie and I travel together. We were
born in the same town, and I know his Aunt Clara. She
took Lennie when he was a baby and raised him. When
Lennie‟s Aunt Clara died, Lennie just started coming
                                                    46



to work with me. I guess we just got used to each
other.”

    Slim says, “Umm,”


    George looks at Slim and sees
how calmly Slim is looking at him.
George says, “It is strange.
I used to make fun of
Lennie all of the time.
But Lennie was too dumb
to realize that I was
playing jokes on him. He
would do anything that I
                                                                         47



told him to do. He never got angry either. It was not
so much fun after a while. I will tell you what made
me stop.” George’s voice sounds like he is confessing something awful that
he had done.


                                         George tells Slim, “One day I
                                     was feeling really smart,
                                     and I told Lennie to jump
                                     into a river that a bunch
                                     of other guys and I were
                                     standing around. Lennie
                                     jumped in even though he
                                     could not swim.”
                                                                                 48



    George continues to say, “Lennie almost drowned before I
could get him out of the water. When I got him out,
he was so thankful that I had saved him that he
forgot that I was the one who told him to jump in. I
never did anything like that again.”

    Slim says, “He is a nice guy. You do not need to be
smart to be nice. Actually, it seems like really
smart guys are not nice at all most of the time.”


    George starts to play a game called solitaire, a card game that people can
play alone. George starts to talk to Slim again, “I do not have any
family or friends except Lennie. I have seen guys go
from one ranch to another by themselves. They do not
                                                              49



have any fun. After a while they get mean, and they
only want to fight all of the time.”

                       Slim agrees. He says, “Yeah, they do
                   get mean. Then they do not want to
                   talk to anyone.”

                       George says, “Of course Lennie is
                   annoying most of the time, but you
get used to traveling with a guy that you cannot get
rid of.”

   Slim says, “At least he is not mean. I can see that
Lennie is not mean at all.”
                                                   50




    George says, “Of course he is
not mean. But        he does get into
trouble a lot        because he is so
dumb. Like he        did in Weed, the
place we came        here from-----”
George stops and looks at Slim for a second.
George realizes that he just told Slim something
that he did not want to tell him. Then George
looks at him and asks, “Would you tell anyone?”
                                                                 51




                        Slim asks, “What did Lennie do in
                     Weed?”

                        George says, “Would you tell
                     anyone . . . No, of course you
                     would not tell anyone.”

                        Slim asks again, “What did Lennie
                     do in Weed?”


                        George tells Slim what Lennie did in Weed.
                     “Well, he saw a girl who was
wearing a red dress, and he liked the way the dress
                                                       52



looked. Lennie wants to touch everything that he
thinks looks nice. So, he reached out and grabbed
onto her dress, and she screamed.
   This scared Lennie, and when he gets scared he
gets all confused and won‟t let go of what he is
holding. So, the girl keeps screaming because Lennie
will not let go. I run over when I hear the
screaming. By this time Lennie is so confused that
all he can think about doing is holding onto her
dress. So, I hit Lennie in the head with a piece of
wood from a fence to make him let go. But he was so
scared that he could not let go of the dress, and he
is so strong that you cannot make him let go.”
                                                          53



    Slim asks, “So then what happened?”


    George continues, “The girl told the police that Lennie
raped her, and Lennie and I had to hide from the
police and try to run away.”

    Slim says, “And Lennie did not
hurt the girl at all?”

    George says, “No, not at all.”


    Lennie comes into the bunkhouse where
Slim and George are talking. He is out of breath.
All this time he was in the barn with the puppies.
                                                                     54




    George says, “Hi Lennie. Do you like the puppy that
Slim gave to you?”

    Lennie, still out of breath, says, “Yes, he is brown and white
just like I wanted.” Then Lennie walks over and lies down in his bed
facing the wall like he is hiding something.


    George says sternly, “Lennie, I told you not to bring
that puppy into this bunkhouse. They need to stay
with their mother while they still need to drink her
milk.”
                                                                             55



    Lennie denies having a puppy with him, but George knows he has a puppy
and makes him take it back to the barn to its mother.


    When Lennie leaves, Slim says, “Lennie is just like a kid.”


    George agrees.


    The tall, old man that George
and Lennie met when they first got to
the ranch, named Candy, walks in
with his old, smelly dog. He asks if
Slim or George have anything to
help his stomach stop hurting.
                                                                              56



   Slim and George do not have anything to help Candy’s stomach.


   One of the other guys from the ranch, named Carlson, walks in and says to
Candy, “Your dog smells awful! He is so old. You should
not make him suffer like this. Let me take him out
and shoot him. He would not even feel it the way I
would do it.”

                                           Candy says, “No, he has
                                       done too much for me to
                                       just shoot him. It is not
                                       fair.” Candy looks to Slim for help,
                                       but Slim does not say anything. Only
                                       Slim can help Candy because he is the
                                                                          57



authority on the ranch, and everybody listens to him.


    Carlson continues to talk about shooting Candy’s dog. “It makes the
whole bunkhouse smell bad.”

    Candy says, “Not right now;
maybe I will do it tomorrow.”

    Carlson argues, “There is no point
in waiting. Just get it done
with.”


    Candy reluctantly agrees to let Carlson
shoot his old dog; the dog that he has had since
                                                                               58



it was a puppy because no one will help defend him.


                           Carlson takes a shovel and the dog out of the
                       bunkhouse, and the bunkhouse became silent until they
                       heard a gun shot in the distance.


                           The stable buck who takes care of the horses,
                       named Crooks, comes in and tells Slim that Lennie is
                       playing with the puppies a lot.


                           Slim says, “Lennie will not hurt the
                       puppies.” Then, Slim leaves with Crooks, the stable
                       buck, to fix a mules’ hoof by putting warm tar on it.
                                                                                59



    George, Candy, Carlson, and another man named Whit are left in the
bunkhouse. Candy stays very quiet. He is thinking about his dog, the one that
Carlson shot.


    Everyone in the bunkhouse except Candy start to play a card game and talk
about Curley, the bosses son who does not like big guys like Lennie, and his
wife.


    Suddenly, Curley bursts into the room and asks very
quickly, “Have any of you seen my wife?”


    Whit says, “She has not been in here.”


    Then Curley asks, “Where is Slim?”
                                                                                 60




    Lennie comes in and says that Slim is in the barn.


    George asks if Lennie has seen Curley’s wife, and Lennie says no.


    Everyone leaves to go to the barn except for Candy. George forgets that
Candy is in the room and starts to tell Lennie about a place that he wants to buy.
“I know these people who are old and will want to
sell their place soon, and I want to get some money
together and buy it from them.”

    Lennie asks, “Is there a place for the rabbits that
you told me I could have, George?”
                                                          61



  George says, “Not right now, but I can easily build a
place for them.”

  Candy says, “I am
not much help
because I only have
one hand, but I can
still help a little
at your place. I
have almost half of
the money that you
need to buy that
place. They are
                                                                        62



going to do to me what they did to my dog soon. What
if I came with you?”

  George, surprised because he forgot Candy was in the room, says, “I
will have to think about it.”

  Candy says, “How much money do you and Lennie have?
Maybe we could buy it right now.”

  George says, “No, Lennie and I only have ten dollars
between the two of us. But if Lennie and I work for a
month and do not spend any money at all, we might be
able to buy the place then.”
                                                                            63



    George and Candy agree to this. They also agree not to tell anyone because
the others might get jealous and try to stop them.


    Later, Candy says, “I should have shot my dog myself
instead of letting a stranger shoot him.”


    The door to the bunkhouse opens,
and Slim walks in followed by Curley,
Carlson, and Whit. Curley says, “I did
not mean anything by it
Slim. I was just asking.”
                                                                               64



                                                  Slim says, “Well, you
                                             have been asking me too
                                             many times. You need to
                                             keep track of your own
                                             wife. It is not my job
                                             to watch her; it is
                                             your job to know what
                                             she is doing.”


    Carlson laughs at Curley. Lennie laughs because Carlson laughs. This
makes Curley angry, and he starts to try to punch Lennie. Lennie gets scared
and just stands there.


    George starts to yell, “Get him Lennie! Punch Curley back!”
                                                                                 65




    Lennie grabs Curley’s hand when
Curley throws a punch and squeezes his
hand really hard. Lennie is scared, so he
cannot let go even though everyone is
telling him to. But Curley is screaming
and trying to get away, which makes
Lennie more confused, so he holds on
tighter. Finally, Lennie lets go.


    Curley’s hand is crushed. Slim tells Curley that no one is going to say
anything about what happened, or Slim will tell everyone what really happened.
                                                                               66



    While Slim is wrapping up Curley’s crushed hand, Lennie, who has a black
eye and other cuts and bruises on his face from being hit by Curley, asks
George, “Do I still get to take care of the rabbits?”


    George says, “Of course you do; you did not do
anything wrong.”
                                                            67



    Crooks, the stable buck who takes care of the
horses, is in his room. He keeps his room clean
and neat. Crooks sits on his bed and rubs lotion
on his back to make it not hurt as much.


    Lennie comes in to Crooks’ room. Crooks
says to Lennie, “Get out of my room;
you do not belong here. No one is allowed to come in
here except me; this is my room.”

    Lennie says nervously, “I was coming to see my puppy, and
I saw your light on. Everyone else went to town.”

    Crooks says meanly, “Well, what do you want then?”
                                                                      68




  Lennie says, “Nothing, I just thought I could come and
sit with someone.”

  Crooks tells Lennie, “You should not even be in the barn.”


  Lennie says, “I came to see my puppy.”


  Crooks tells Lennie, “Then go see your puppy.”


  Lennie steps into the room a little more and says, “Slim said I‟m
not supposed to hold them so much, so I just looked
at them a little.”
                                                               69



                                Crooks says, “I am surprised
                                the mother did not move
                                the puppies because you
                                have been holding them so
                                much. Come on in and sit
                                for a while since you
                                will not leave me alone.”
  Lennie tells Crooks, “Everyone went to
town except Candy. He sits in the
bunkhouse figuring about the
rabbits.”

  Crooks says, “You are crazy. What
rabbits are you talking about?”
                                                         70




  Lennie says, “The rabbits we are going to get. He is
figuring out how I get to take care of them and give
them water and food.”

  Crooks says, “You travel with George. He just keeps
talking about things, and you do not even know half
of what he is saying, do you?”

  Lennie says, “Sometimes--but not always”


  Crooks says, “So what if George just went to town
tonight and just decided never to come back? What
                                                                 71



would you do? You could not take care of yourself. So
how would you live?”

  Lennie gets upset, “George would not do that. He would
not just leave me.”

                             Crooks says. “Well what if he
                          could not come back. What if
                          he got killed?”

                             Lennie gets scared and says, “Who
                          hurt George?”

                             Crooks says, “No one hurt
                                                           72



George, but what if someone did? What would you do?”

  Lennie says, “George is careful. He would not get
hurt.” Lennie gets very angry and stands up to say,
“No one talks about George getting hurt.”

  Crooks says nicely, “Well, you know George is going to
come back, but I do not have anyone. What if you
could not talk to anyone or play cards with them? A
guy needs someone to talk to. If he does not, he goes
crazy. It does not matter who he is. He still needs
somebody.”
                                                           73



    Lennie says, “George is going to come back. Maybe he
is already back; I should go to the bunkhouse to
check. George won‟t leave me.”

    Crooks says, “I did not mean to scare you. I was
talking about myself. A guy gets lonely sitting
around here by himself every night. There is no one
to tell me if what I see or hear is real or if I am
just going crazy.”


    Crooks begins to day dream
about his childhood. “I
remember when I was just
a little kid. This whole
                                                                              74



ranch was owned by my family. I used to sleep in this
same room, same bed and everything. We had chickens
too.”

    This reminds Lennie of what he had started to talk about. “George said
we are going to have alfalfa for the rabbits.”

    Crooks says, “No one ever gets their own land.” Some
horses start to make some noise. Crooks knows that when the horses make
noise it is because someone or something is in the barn. Crooks says, “Slim
is probably in the barn, and that is why the horses
are making noise.”
                                                              75



  Candy comes in and says, “No, Slim went to town. Have you
seen Lennie?”

  Crooks is annoyed and says, “Yes, he is in here. You can
come in if you want.”

  Candy says, “It must be nice to have a place all to
                  yourself like this.”

                     Crooks says sarcastically, “Yeah, it‟s
                  great.”

                     Candy says, “Crooks and I have been
                  here for a long time, and this is
                                                       76



the first time I have been in his room.”

  Crooks says, “Only the boss and Slim have been in
here.”

  Lennie says, “About the rabbits, Candy.”


  Candy says, “I got it all figured out. We can make
some money off of those rabbits.”

  Lennie repeats, “But I get to take care of them.”


  Crooks says, “You guys are never going to get your own
land.”
                                                                     77



  Candy gets angry and says, “We are going to get some land;
George said we are. We have most of the money all
ready.”

  Crooks says, “I have never seen anyone get their own
land before. If you guys do get it, and you want
someone to come work for just housing and food, I
could come lend a hand.”


                                  Curley’s wife walks in and asks,
                              “Have any of you seen
                              Curley?”
                                                                          78



   Crooks and Candy look away from her, but Lennie watches her, fascinated.
Candy says, “No, he has not been in here.”


   Curley’s wife says, “You know, if I talk to any man while
he is alone, he is perfectly nice to me, but if I
talk to any together, they won‟t talk to me at all.”

   Crooks says, “Maybe you should leave now. We don‟t
want any trouble.”

   Curley’s wife says, “I am not causing any trouble. Do you
think I like to sit in the house alone all of the
time? Don‟t you think I would like to talk to someone
sometimes?”
                                                                  79




   Candy says, “You have a husband. You cannot go talking
to other guys and causing trouble.”
    Curley’s wife gets upset and yells, “Yeah, I have a husband and
you see how he is, don‟t you? All he talks about is
how he is going to beat up guys like you and how he
does not like anyone.” She stopped for a second, and her tone
changed, “What happened to Curley‟s hand anyway?”


   Candy looks at Lennie quickly
and then says, “He got it
caught in a machine.”
                                                                        80



  Curley’s wife does not believe them.


  Candy is aggravated and stands up to say to Curley’s wife, “You are
not wanted here, so leave. You can get us into a lot
of trouble, so leave. We have our own land, and we
are not afraid of getting fired.”

  Curley’s wife says, “Yeah right. You do not have your own
land.”

  Candy’s face gets even redder. “You just need to leave.
Curley probably wouldn‟t like his wife out here with
three men.”
                                                                                 81



    Curley’s wife looks around at the three of them. She looks at Lennie for a
long time. Eventually, Lennie looks away because he is embarrassed. She says
to Lennie, “Where did you get those bruises on your
face?”

    Lennie looks at Candy for help. “Curley got his hand stuck in
a machine.”

    Curley’s wife laughs and says to Lennie, “Okay machine; I‟ll
talk to you later. I like machines.”

    Candy says, “You leave Lennie alone. I am going to
tell George what you said. He won‟t have anyone
messing around with Lennie.”
                                                              82




  Curley’s wife asks, “Who is George? Is that the little guy
Lennie came with?”

  Lennie smiles and says, “Yup, that is George. He is going
to let me take care of the rabbits.”

  Curley’s wife says, “If that
is all you want, I might
get a couple of rabbits
myself.”


  Crooks stands up and says,
“You have no right
                                                              83



coming into my room. Now, get out, or I am going to
ask the boss not to allow you to come into the barn
any more.”

  Curley’s wife says, “Listen, do you know what I could do
to you if you told the boss anything?”

  Crooks looks at the floor and says quietly, “Yes, ma‟am.”


  Candy says, “If you did that, we would tell them that
you were lying.”

  Curley’s wife says, “No one would believe you.”
                                                                   84



   Candy realizes that she is right.


   Lennie says, “I wish George were here.”


   Candy steps over to Lennie and says, “Do not worry, Lennie. I
think I heard the guys coming. George might be in the
bunkhouse right now. You should go check.” Then he says to
Curley’s wife, “If you leave now, we will not tell Curley
you were in here.”

   Curley’s wife says, “I do not think you heard anything.”


   Candy says, “You should not take any chances.”
                                                                              85



    Curley’s wife says to Lennie, “I am glad you hurt Curley‟s
hand. Sometimes I would like to hurt him myself.”
Curley’s wife leaves.


                                      Crooks asks Candy, “Did you
                                 really hear the guys coming
                                 back?”

                                      Candy says, “Yes, I heard the
                                 gate bang.”

    Candy and Crooks talk a little until they hear George yelling, “Lennie!
Are you in here?”
                                                                86



  Lennie yells back excitedly, “I am in here George! Right
here!”

  George comes in and says to Lennie, “Why are you in Crooks‟
room? You should not be in here.”

  Crooks says, “I told him that, but he would not listen
to me.”

  George asks, “Why didn‟t you kick him out?”


  Crooks shrugs and says, “I did not mind much. Lennie is a
nice guy.”
                                                                 87



  Candy jumps up and says to George, “I have been figuring and
figuring. I have even figured out how to make some
money off of those rabbits.”


                                  George looks angrily at Candy and
                               says, “I thought I told you
                               not to tell anyone.”


                                  Crooks says to Candy,
                               “Remember what I said
                               about helping out?”

                                  Candy says, “Yeah, I
                               remember.”
                                                                      88




    Crooks says, “Well, forget about it. I did not mean
it. I was just kidding. I would not want to go to a
place like that anyway.”

    Candy says, “Okay, if you feel like that. Goodnight.”
Candy, Lennie and George leave Crooks’ room.


    Crooks sits on his bed and starts to put oil on his back again.
                                                                                  89



    On another day at the ranch, all of the men are playing horseshoes, except
Lennie who is in the barn with the puppies. He says to the limp, dead, puppy in
his hands, “Why did you have to be dead? You are not as
small as a mouse. Now George might not let me take
care of the rabbits.”

    Lennie covers the puppy with hay and says, “This is not so bad
that I have to hide in the woods like George said to
if I got into trouble. I will just tell George that I
found the puppy dead.”


                                  Lennie unburies the puppy and pets it.
                             “George will know that I am lying.
                                                                            90



George always knows when I am lying.”


   Suddenly, Lennie gets angry and throws the puppy away from himself. He
says, “Why did you die? You are not as small as a
mouse! Now I will not get to take care of the
rabbits.”

   Curley’s wife comes into the barn quietly. She asks Lennie, “What do
you have there?”



   Lennie tells her, “George said I am not supposed to talk
to you.”
                                                            91




  Curley’s wife says, “George is
afraid Curley will get
angry. But if Curley tries
to do anything to you, you
can break his other hand
too.”

  Lennie says, “No, I will not talk to you.”


  Curley’s wife says gently, “All of the guys are playing
horseshoes; none of them are going to come in here
for a long time. I am very lonely; I cannot talk to
anybody at all.”
                                                               92




  Lennie says, “George will be very angry with me if he
catches me talking to you.”

  Curley’s wife gets angry, “Can‟t I talk to anyone? What do
they think of me anyway? You are a nice guy. Why can
I not talk to you? I am not going to hurt you.”

  Lennie tells her, “George said you will get us in
trouble.”

  Curley’s wife says, “What am I doing to you? No one cares
how I have to live. I am not used to living like
this. When I was fifteen a man came and said that I
                                                                       93



could be famous. But my mother would not let me go.
If I had gone I would not be living like this.”

  Lennie pets the dead puppy and says, “We are going to have a
place of our own—and rabbits.”

  Curley’s wife continues to tell Lennie about her past, “And this other
time, a guy came and said he would write to me about
putting me in movies. I always thought that my mother
stole the letter. Are you listening to me?”

  Lennie says, “Me? Sure.”
                                                                     94



                        Curley’s wife says, “I have not ever
                    told anyone this, and maybe I
                    should not, but I do not like
                    Curley. He is not a nice guy.”
                    Curley’s wife moves closer to Lennie. “I could
                    have been in movies. I could be
                    rich.”

  Lennie says, “Maybe I could
hide the puppy, and George
would never know. Then I could
still take care of the
rabbits.”
                                                                95



  Curley’s wife asks angrily, “Do you ever think of anything
other than rabbits?”

  Lennie says, “We are going to have our own place, and
I will get to take care of the rabbits.”

  Curley’s wife says, “Why do you like rabbits so much?”


  Lennie thinks for a second and answers, “I like to pet nice
things.”

  Curley’s wife says, “Everyone likes to touch nice things.
Do you like velvet?”
                                                                  96



    Lennie says, “Yes, My Aunt Clara gave me some once,
but I lost it. I wish I had it right now.”

    Curley’s wife laughs and says, “You are nuts, but you are a
nice guy. You are like a big baby, but I can see what
you mean. Sometimes when I am brushing my hair I just
like to pet it. See? Feel how soft it is.”


    Lennie begins to stroke her hair with his
hand.


    Curley’s wife said, “See? Now do
not mess it up.”
                                                                           97



  Lennie says, “That is soft!” Lennie starts to pet it harder. “It is
very soft!”

  Curley’s wife yells, “That‟s enough, now let go!”


                                       Lennie panics because she is
                                   screaming and holds on tighter. This
                                   makes her scream more. Lennie grabs
                                   her and puts his hand over her mouth
                                   and tells her, “Stop that! Stop
                                   yelling!” Lennie squeezes her
                                   tighter until she stops screaming. He
                                   says, “Now do not do that.”
                                                                                    98



Lennie lets go of her limp body, and it falls to the barn floor. Lennie broke her
neck by squeezing her, and she died.


    Lennie looks at her and says, “I do not want to hurt you,
but George will be mad if you scream.”


    Lennie tries to make her get up, but her body does not move.


    Lennie whispers in a scared voice, “I did a bad thing. I did
another bad thing.” He partially covered her with hay. Lennie says, “I
did a really bad thing. I should not have done that.
                        George will be angry with me.
                        He said to hide in the woods.”
                                                                              99



    Lennie looks at the dead puppy near Curley’s wife. He says, “I will
throw the puppy away. It is bad enough like this.”
Lennie leaves the barn to hide in the woods.


    After a while Candy comes into the barn to look for Lennie. He does not
know Curley’s wife is dead. He starts to say to her, “Oh sorry, I did
not know you were in here. The barn is probably not a
good place to take a nap.” Candy walks over to Curley’s wife; he
says, “Oh no!” He jumps back from surprise and thinks about what to do.


    Candy goes to get George and brings him back to the barn. George says,
“What did you want to see me about?”
                                                                         100



  Candy points to Curley’s dead wife lying in the barn. George asks, “What
is wrong with her? Oh no!”

  Candy asks George, “What
happened to her?”

  George says, “I have no idea. I
think I know, though. It was
Lennie, but I guess we have to
tell the guys. We cannot let
him get away. He will starve
to death. Maybe they will put
him in jail and be nice about
it.”
                                                           101




  Candy says, “We should let him get away. You do not
know what Curley would do to him. Curley will kill
him.”

  Candy says, “I guess we cannot get that little place
of our own anymore.”

                                 George says, “Let me go
                             back to the horseshoe
                             game, and in a few
                             minutes you come running
                             down and tell everyone
                             what happened so that
                                                                             102



they do not think that we had anything to do with
it.”


    When Candy tells the guys, they all run over to the barn. Curley says,
“Lennie did it. I will kill him. Anyone who does not
help me was in on it.” All of the guys leave to get their guns except
Slim and George.


    Slim says to George, “I guess Lennie did it. Not to be
mean though.”


    The other guys come back and
make a plan. Curley says, “If
you see him shoot him in
                                                         103



the stomach. I want to make sure it is very painful.”

  George says, “Listen Curley, do not shoot Lennie. He
did not know what he was doing.”

  Curley says, “Don‟t shoot him? He has Carlson‟s gun. Of
course we are going to shoot him.”
                                                                             104



    Out in the woods Lennie waits for George. Lennie says to himself, “I did
not forget. I remembered to come here just like
George said, and if George does not want me, I will
live in a cave and have no ketchup at all if George
does not want me.”


    Lennie remembers his Aunt Clara. In his mind she stands in front of him with
her hands on her hips. Lennie says what he thinks she would have said. “I
told you, and I told you, and I told you. Listen to
George because he is such a nice guy, but you do not
listen to him. You keep doing bad things.”
                                                                105



                                Lennie answers her, “I tried
                             not to do bad things.”


                                Lennie imagines Aunt Clara again.
                             In his mind she says, “You never
                           think about George. He
                           always thinks of you. When
                           he had pie he always gave
you half of his piece. If there were any ketchup, he
would give all of it to you.”

  Lennie says sadly, “I know, I know. I tried, and I
tried.”
                                                                              106



    Soon Lennie imagines a rabbit is talking to him. The rabbit says, “You
cannot take care of rabbits. You would forget, and
they would die.”

    Lennie says, “I would not forget!”


    The imaginary rabbit says, “George is sick of you. He is
going to beat you up and then leave you here.”

    Lennie yells frantically, “No! I know George. He and I travel
together. He would not do that to me!”


    Lennie covers his ears so that he does not hear the rabbit telling him mean
things. He starts to yell for George.
                                      107




   George comes up quietly. He asks
Lennie, “Why are you
yelling?”

   Lennie says, “You are not
going to leave me, are you
George?”
                                     108



  George sits next to Lennie and says,
“No.”

  Lennie says, “I knew it.”


  George is silent.


  Lennie says, “George, I did
another bad thing.”

  George says, “It does not
matter.”
                                                          109



  Lennie says, “Aren‟t you mad at me?”


  George says, “No, I am not mad at you at all.”


  Lennie says, “Tell me like you did before--about the
rabbits.”

  George starts to say, “Guys like us have no family and no
one who cares about them.”

  Lennie says, “But not us.”
                                                                             110



    George is quiet for a second and says, “But not us.” George takes off
his hat and says to Lennie, “Take off your hat; the air is
fine.”

    Lennie takes off his hat and says, “Tell me how it is going to
be.”

    George says to Lennie, “Look across the river, and I will
tell you so you can almost see it.” Lennie listens to George,
and George stands behind Lennie who is still sitting. George takes Carlson’s gun
out of his pocket.


    Lennie says, “Go on.”
                                                                      111



    George holds the gun up to Lennie’s head and tells him, “We are going
to have cows and grow rabbit food.”

    Lennie says, “For the rabbits--and I will get to take
care of the rabbits.”

    George continues, “For the
rabbits,and you will get
to take care of the
rabbits.” George’s hand shakes
because he is upset about what he is
getting ready to do.
                                                                               112



    Lennie turns his head a little, but George stops him and says, “No,look
across the river like you can almost see the place.”

    Lennie says, “Let‟s get the place now.”


    George says, “Okay, we will get it now.” George raises the
gun to the back of Lennie’s head. His hand shakes a lot. He pulls the trigger, and
Lennie’s body falls limply to the ground by the river.


    Slim calls for George.


    When the guys get there and see what happened, Carlson asks George,
“Did he have my gun?”
                                                                           113



                                               George says, “Yeah that
                                          is how I did it. Shot
                                          him in the back of the
                                          head.”

                                               Slim says to George, “You
                                          had to do it. You had
                                          to. It was the only
                                          way. Come with me.” Slim
                                          and George walk away sadly.


   Curley and Carlson stay behind and watch them leave. Carlson says to
Curley, “What do you think is bothering Slim and
George?”

				
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