ANSWER KEY SHORT ANSWER STUDY QUESTIONS - Tuck Everlasting
-->Prologue- Chapter 4
1. Which month is at the top of the live-long year?
The first week of August hangs at the very top of the live-long year.
2. Describe the touch-me-not cottage.
It was a square and solid cottage with a touch-me-not appearance surrounded by grass cut
painfully to the quick and enclosed by a capable iron fence some four feet high which clearly
said "Move on-we don't want you here." It was so proud of itself that you wanted to make a
lot of noise as you passed, maybe even throw a rock or two.
3. Why did the wood 'make you want to speak in whisper'?
It had a sleeping appearance, otherworld appearance that made you want to speak in whispers.
This, at least is what the cows must have thought: "Let it keep its peace we won't disturb it."
4. What lies at the center of the wood?
A giant ash tree lies at the center of the wood with a bubbling spring among its roots with a pile
of pebbles piled there to conceal it.
5. Where does Mae Tuck tell her husband she is going that morning at dawn?
She is going to take the horse and ride down to the wood to meet her sons.
6. What item did Mae take along with her?
She took the one pretty thing she owned: her music box, painted with roses and lilies of the
7. For how many years had all the Tucks remained exactly the same?
For eighty-seven years they had all remained exactly the same.
8. What does Winnie Foster tell a toad at noon the same day?
She wants to be by herself for a change. She wants to do something that would make some
kind of difference in the world. She wants to run away from home.
9. Why does she want to do this?
She is closely watched constantly by her parents and grandfather with very little freedom.
10. Describe the stranger who appears at the Foster's gate at sunset of the same day.
He was remarkably tall and narrow with a long chin that faded off into a thin, apologetic beard.
His suit was a jaunty yellow that seemed to glow a little in the fading light. A black hat dangled
from one hand.15
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11. Why has he come?
He's looking for a family
12. Why did Winnie's grandmother become so excited when she heard music coming from the wood?
She thinks it is the elf music she had heard long ago. She had told Winnie stories about it.
1. Why did Winnie awaken disheartened the next morning?
She was annoyed at herself for being afraid to run away after all.
2. Where does Winnie decide to go?
She decides to go into the wood to see if she can discover what or who had made the music
the night before.
3. What does Winnie see there?
She sees a thin, sunburned wonderful boy drinking from a little spring near a huge tree.
4. What does Winnie want to do that the boy refuses to allow her to do?
She wants to take a drink from the little spring from which she saw him drinking.
5. How was Winnie's kidnapping different from her imagined one?
Her kidnappers appeared as alarmed as she was.
6. What calmed Winnie's sobbing?
She ceased sobbing after Mae started her music box.
7. When did the Tucks realize there was something peculiar about themselves and their horse?
They realized something wasn't right when potentially harmful events didn't affect them.
8. Why did Miles' wife leave him and take the children?
She thought he had sold his soul to the devil because he wasn't aging.
9. What conclusion did the Tucks draw concerning their changelessness?
They decided that the source of their changelessness was the spring they had drunk from in the
wood. The cat had not drunk from it and had died ten years earlier.
10. How do Jesse and Miles' opinions differ about their predicament?
Jesse thinks you might as well enjoy it as along as you can't change it, while Miles is more
serious about it.16
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11. Who secretly overheard the entire Tuck story?
The man in the yellow suit had crept up in the bushes and heard the entire fascinating story.
1. Describe the Tuck homeplace.
Their barn-red homely little house sits in a deep hollow below which is a tiny lake.
2. How does Angus Tuck react to his family bringing Winnie home with them?
He thinks it is the finest thing to happen to them in eighty years.
3. How is the Tuck home different from what Winnie is used to?
She has been trained to keep absolute order and their home was pleasantly cluttered and is in a
state of disarray.
4. How do Angus and Mae make a living?
They make things to sell like wooden toys and utensils.
5. Where do the boys go when they leave home and what do they do?
They go to different places, find odd jobs, and try to bring home some of their money.
6. When is Mae certain her boys will show up at home?
They come home every ten years during the first week in August.
7. How does Winnie feel during dinner at the Tucks?
Her spirits drop and she becomes homesick.
8. Why does Angus take Winnie out in the rowboat on the pond?
He wants to explain to her the cycle of life as compared to the cycle of the water's life. He
wants her to understand how horrible it really is to be outside of the cycle and STUCK like the
Tucks. He stresses how dangerous it would be for others to discover the spring.
9. What news does Miles bring at the end of chapter 12?
Someone has stolen the Tuck's horse.
1. What suggestion does Jesse make to Winnie?
He asks her to wait six years, when she will be his age, and then drink from the spring. They
can then marry, see the world, and have a grand time. 17
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2. How is Winnie feeling before she falls asleep that night?
She is very confused, but feeling kindly towards the Tucks. She is worried about what her
father will do when he finds them.
3. What is the man in the yellow suit asking as a trade from the Fosters for the return of their
He wants to own the wood; signed over to him legally.
4. How do the constable and the stranger get along on the ride to the Tucks?
The constable is a friendly, talkative man and the stranger is annoyed and rides ahead.
5. Where does Miles take Winnie the next morning?
He takes her fishing.
6. What does Miles share with Winnie about his future goals?
He tells her that someday he'll find a way to do something important.
7. Retell the quote that Miles tells Winnie after throwing the fish back into the pond.
"People got to be meat-eaters sometimes, though. It's the natural way. And that means killing
8. How have Winnie's feelings changed about the Tucks?
She loves this peculiar family and feels that they belong to her.
9. Who comes knocking at the door at the end of chapter 18?
The man in the yellow suit is at the door of the Tucks.
1. How did the stranger come to know of the "ageless" family?
His grandmother had told him wild, unbelievable stories of an "odd" family. A dear friend of
hers had married into this family and she and her two children had come to live with his
grandmother for awhile. The tune from Mae's music box had been a clue, when the stranger
had heard it at the Foster's gate he knew he was close to finding them.
2. Explain the stranger's plan for the wood.
He plans to sell the water.
3. What does Mae do that surprises everyone?
She hits the stranger in the back of his skull with the stock of Angus' shotgun.18
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4. How does Winnie protect the Tucks when the constable accuses them of kidnapping?
She tells him that they didn't kidnap her, she went with them because she wanted to.
5. Why does Winnie think Mae Tuck can't be hanged?
She would not be able to hanged because they can't die.
6. How do the Fosters react upon Winnie's return?
They seize her with weeping, hugging, fretting, and fussing.
7. What news does the constable bring the Fosters?
He tells them that the fellar-the one they sold their land to-is dead.
8. Before falling asleep that night what does Winnie vow she must do?
She knows she has to do something to help Mae.
9. For what reason does Winnie ask her grandmother for some water the next day?
She wants to give some water to the toad because it so dry outside.
10. Who appears at the Foster's gate and what is his plan?
Jesse appears and tells Winnie that Miles plans to take the window, bars and all, out of the
jailhouse so Mae can climb out late that night.
11. How does Winnie offer to help the Tucks?
She tells Jesse she will take Mae's place in the jailhouse after they get Mae out of the window,
so they can get further away before the constable realizes his prisoner is gone.
Chapters 23- Epilogue
1. How is Winnie feeling in the three hours before she is to meet Jesse?
She is feeling restless, excited, and guilty about leaving home again without permission.
2. How is Miles able to help his mother?
He pried out all the nails from the window and yanked the window out of the jailhouse wall so
she could climb out of it and escape.
3. Just as Mae gets out of the window, what happens?
It begins to rain.
4. What does Winnie do after Mae gets out?
Winnie climbs in the window and covers herself with the blanket to make herself look like Mae.19
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5. What caused the loud crash during the night at the jailhouse?
The gallows had blown over in the wind of the storm.
6. How did the constable react when he found out about the switch?
He became very angry and called her a criminal and an accomplice. He released her into the
custody of her parents because of her age,
7. How did Winnie's status change with her peers because of the incident?
They were impressed by what she had done. She was a figure of romance to them now. They
came by to look at her and to talk to her through the fence. Before she had been too clean to
be a real friend.
8. Explain what Winnie does to the toad and why.
She poured the precious water from the spring that Jesse had given to her over the toad so he
would not have to be harmed by the dog. She wanted to protect him.
9. When the Tucks returned, how had Treegap changed?
There were many other streets crossing over the main street and they were blacktopped. The
wood and Winnie's cottage were gone. There were many shops and businesses, as well as a
hotel and diner.
10. What do the Tucks learn happened to the wood, tree, and spring?
They discover there was a big electrical storm. The big tree got hit by lightning, caught fire and
had to be bulldozed out. All sign of the spring was gone.
11. Why does Mae state they have no need to come back to Treegap?
They find Winnie's tombstone in the family plot at the local cemetery.
12. How many years had passed since that first week in August with Winnie when the Tucks
They say that Winnie had been dead for two years. Her inscription lists 1948 as the year of her
death, which makes it 1950. Her year of birth was listed as 1870. She was 10 years old when
they had been with her; so that would be 1880. The number of years from 1880 to 1950 is
13. What do Mae and Angus see in the road before leaving Treegap?
They see the everlasting toad Winnie poured the spring water over.