attempts to explain the meaning of life to young readers.
Brian O'Connal, the main character, is a young boy who
develops an understanding of birth and death throughout the
novel by observing numerous animals. The birth of
Forbsie's pigeons and his rabbits help him to gain an
understanding of birth. The death of Forbsie's pigeon,
Brian's dog, and Brian's father play an important role in
helping Brian understand birth, death and the true meaning
Brian's first encounter with birth is when he and his
friend, Forbsie, discover the hatching of baby pigeons.
'"They came out of the eggs.' Forbsie said." (51). Brian
has difficulty grasping this fact and asks his father for
help. Brian's father unwillingly provides information on
this matter which results in a brief but not detailed
discussion. From this discussion Brian concludes that the
father pigeon places the baby in the egg and the baby
pigeons grow while the mother pigeon is laying the egg.
When the baby pigeon grows as much as it needs to grow, it
hatches out of the egg. This explanation leaves Brian quite
confused and uninformed of nature's way to reproduce. At
this stage Brian seems to understand that humans and
animals reproduce babies the same way.
Brian's second encounter with birth is again with Forbsie
as the two watch the birth of rabbits. Brian's knowledge of
birth is further developed in this section of the novel.
He is not too sure about the newborn...