The taste of melon by borden deal

Good Essays
The Taste of Melon

Focus Your Learning
Reading this story will help you:
■ relate your own experience to the story theme
■ analyse story structure
■ identify changes in the narrator’s perspective ■ interpret characters’ motives

Look Closely


When I think of the summer I was sixteen, a lot of things some crowding in to be thought about. We had moved just the year before, and sixteen is still young enough that the bunch makes a difference. I had a bunch, all right, but they weren’t sure of me yet. I didn’t know why. Maybe because I’d lived in town, and my father still worked there instead of farming, like the other fathers did. The boys I knew, even Freddy Gray and J.D., still kept a small
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Men came from miles around to look at it. Mr. Wills wouldn’t let them go into the melon patch. They had to stand around the edge.
Just like all other daredevil boys in that country, I guess, Freddy Gray and
J.D. and I had talked idly about stealing that giant watermelon. But we all knew that it was just talk. Not only were we afraid of Mr. Wills and his rages but we knew that Mr. Wills sat in the hayloft window of his barn every night with his shotgun, guarding the melon. It was his seed melon. He meant to plant next year’s crop out of that great one and maybe raise a whole field of them. Mr. Wills was in a frenzy of fear that somebody would steal it. Why, he would rather you stole Willadean than his melon. At least, he didn’t guard Willadean with his shotgun.
Every night I could sit on our front porch and see Mr. Wills sitting up there in the window of his hayloft, looking fiercely out over his melon patch. I’d sit there by the hour and watch him, the shotgun cradled in his arm, and feel the tremors of fear and excitement chasing up and down my spine. “Look at him,” my father would say. “Scared to death somebody will steal his seed melon. Wouldn’t anybody steal a man’s seed melon.”
“He ought to be in the house taking care of that wife of his,” my mother would say tartly. “She’s been poorly all year.”
You hardly ever saw Mrs. Wills. She was a wraith of a
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