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MonkeyNotes-Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
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The author now describes the kitchen where Sydney sits at a table. Ondine asks her husband if the mango she sent for Margaret was all right. He responds that she barely ate it. When Sydney tells her that Margaret wants a turkey rather than the usual goose for Christmas, Ondine is angry at the unreasonable demands and doesn't believe that Michael will come. They talk about Michale and Sydney feels that the young man has been spoiled by Margaret and Ondine. Ondine says that no one is spoiled by love and food. She then goes on to show how little she respects Margaret. Sydney, however, tries to defend Margaret.

As they are talking, Jadine enters the kitchen and the aged couple are pleased to see her. She says that she has slept well and late and compares the night air to food. She decides to have pineapple for breakfast. Still insulting Margaret, Ondine calls her a hussy, whereas Sydney says that Valerian always manages to get his way.

Jadine says that she might have to take the boat back to town. Then she asks for a cup of chocolate. Ondine goes to fetch it from the second kitchen that is stocked with supplies. Sydney complains that there is no air-conditioning in the kitchen while Jadine loves the house the way it is. When Ondine comes back, she wonders aloud about a few missing chocolate boxes as well as missing bottled water and several other items. They speculate over who might be the culprit.


Jadine is a beautiful young woman who is a fashion model but now she wants to do something else. Jadine replies that she doesn't want to model and would rather have her own business. Sydney and Ondine express their affection and support for her.

Then the Yardman walks toward the house. The readers learn about the Yardman's visits to the house with a different Mary each time. She ranges from looking about fourteen to twenty-something but she always wears the same hat. Every woman born on the island seems to be called Mary. Yardman does odd jobs around the place while a professional maintenance team comes down twice a year to clean the house properly. Sydney, Ondine and Jadine wonder whether Yardman could have stolen the chocolate. Ondine walks to the door, preparing to recite a list of chores to Yardman. She will have to repeat them three times since he doesn't know how to read or write.

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