The Scarlet Ibis (Hurst)

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The Scarlet Ibis
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A disabled boy learned to walk with his older brother's help, who later tried teaching him more physical activities. One day, the older brother left him behind in a storm, only to find him dead.

A young boy had a disabled younger brother named Doodle, who was born with a weak body and was not expected to live long. Despite this, Doodle survived and the older brother took it upon himself to teach Doodle how to walk, which he eventually accomplished.

Narrator (Brother) — Doodle's older brother; teenager; responsible for teaching Doodle to walk and other skills; sometimes cruel, ashamed of having a disabled brother.
William Armstrong (Doodle) — narrator's younger brother; born with physical disabilities; red, shriveled body; gentle, imaginative, determined to learn.

The older brother then set out to teach Doodle other physical activities, such as running and swimming, in hopes of making him more like other children. One day, a beautiful scarlet ibis appeared in their yard, only to die shortly after. Doodle was saddened by the bird's death and decided to bury it.

"It's so pretty, Brother, so pretty."

Later, the brothers went to a nearby river for a swimming lesson, but a storm approached, and they had to return home. The older brother, frustrated with Doodle's inability to keep up, ran ahead, leaving Doodle behind in the rain.

"Don't leave me, Brother! Don't leave me!"

When the older brother realized Doodle was no longer following him, he went back to find him. He discovered Doodle dead, having bled from his mouth, his body resembling the fallen scarlet ibis. The older brother was filled with grief and regret for his actions, and he mourned the loss of his younger brother.