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CHAPTER SUMMARY WITH NOTES
It is finally time for the Twelves.
Asher is ahead of Jonas. The Chief Elder, who speaks to the group, tells the audience about a time when Asher was younger. He had mixed up the words “snack” and “smack” and, as a result, had been smacked with the discipline wand. This did not only happen once, but repeatedly, over several weeks. Finally, Asher stopped talking. To the Chief Elder, the important thing is that Asher finally learned.
Jonas waits expectantly as those ahead of him are called. When it is the time to call Jonas, he is skipped over. He and his parents and friends do not know what to think. He waits and waits while the others are called.
Earlier, when we learned about Birthmothers, we saw how heartless the community can be. Now, again, we see their heartlessness. The way that Asher was treated when he mixed up two words was cruel. But, it was acceptable cruelty in the community.
When Jonas is skipped over, attention is drawn to him. Generally, in the community, it is not polite to draw attention to someone. And, if it does happen, the person who is the center of attention feels uneasy. But, the Chief Elder did not intentionally cause Jonas discomfort.