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Word Count: 944
of mice and men Two migrant workers George and Lennie have been let off a bus miles away from the California farm where they are due to start work George is a small dark man with sharp strong features Lennie his companion is his opposite a giant of a man with a shapeless face Overcome with thirst the two stop in a clearing by a pool and decide to camp for the night As the two converse it becomes clear that Lennie has a mild mental disability and is deeply devoted to George and dependent upon him for protection and guidance George finds that Lennie who loves petting soft things but often accidentally kills them has been carrying and stroking a dead mouse He angrily throws it away fearing that Lennie might catch a disease from the dead animal George complains loudly that his life would be easier without having to care for Lennie but the reader senses that their friendship and devotion is mutual He and Lennie share a dream of buying their own piece of land farming it and much to Lennies delight keeping rabbits George ends the night by treating Lennie to the story he often tells him about what life will be like in such an idyllic place The next day the men report to the nearby ranch George fearing how the boss will react to Lennie insists that hell do all the talking He lies explaining that they travel together because they are cousins and that a horse kicked Lennie in the head when he was a child They are hired They meet Candy an old swamper or handyman with a missing hand and an ancient dog and Curley the bosss mean-spirited son Curley is newly married possessive of his flirtatious wife and full of jealous suspicion Once George and Lennie are alone in the bunkhouse Curleys wife appears and flirts with them Lennie thinks she is
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