1. Write a short essay about the subtle clues regarding Jerome's life. This is something of a fantasy story, but there are real life elements that are only mentioned in passing. What are they, and what do they indicate?
Jerome's letters being eaten by mice keeps him from having to think about his past. Jerome's silence may indicate some kind of trauma or other event in his life that made him withdrawn. His career as a gravestone cutter may have been tedious and depressing, since he is only now able to sing and talk.
2. Why would a person use a store window for the front of his home?
He is in the middle of the giant redwoods. He most likely wanted the best view possible, given his beautiful and fascinating surroundings.
3. What might Jerome mean when he tells Old Grouch that he was "licked" when he arrived here?
Since he has now retired, he may mean that he had become very tired and worn down. He also may have been experiencing some depression due to his distance from other people and lack of human companionship.
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