Of Mice and Boys

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Lennie was out in the yard piling crates like the boss had told him to. He stumbled over some mushrooms and landed in manure, and while doing so he soiled himself. Looking morosely at the ground, he went back to the bunk house to change his pants. As he trudged to his destination, Curly’s wife winked at Lennie and he was only able to muster a smile back.

  As Lennie changed into fresh pants, he noticed sunlight from a nearby window beaming onto George’s bed. On the bed lay a small, leather satchel. Curiosity got the better of him as he contemplated whether or not to open it. He crept to George’s bunk and threw open the satchel. Lennie was astonished to find what he thought was a hundred dollars and a deed in George’s name! At that very moment, Lennie noticed Candy’s silhouette looming in the doorway.

  “Whatcha got there Lennie? Ain’t that George’s satchel?” Candy took a deep breath as he realized what was in the satchel. “Oh, thinking about stealing some loot and shoving off? Is that how you treat your friends and bosses? They won’t be happy to hear of this.” He started walking away.

  “I wasn’t gonna do anything, I swear! I was only looking! Don’t tell George or the boss anything!” Lennie pleaded with an anguished face.

  “Okay,” Candy began, “I won’t. But only if you give me that there bag, and if anyone asks you what happened to it you don’t tell them a thing. Understand? Or else you’ll get canned, or worse!”

  With a long pause, Lennie retorted, “Okay. This is wrong, but I don’t wanna get in trouble with anybody. George can always get more money. Just leave me out of your damn mouth!” With that the old man scooped up the satchel and left the gentle giant in utter bewilderment.

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