"Fool About a Horse", 118 (Event)

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First 8-10 words of event: 
Yes, sir. It wasn't Pap that bought one horse
Page Event Ends: 
The Depression (1930-1940)
Narrative Status: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1936 to Thursday, December 31, 1936

Faulkner appears to have written several earlier versions of this before it appeared in Scribner's story first features a narrator name "Quentin," who had previously heard V. K. Surratt tell the story to "Grandfather" and Doc Peabody in Grandfather's Jefferson law office, In revising the story for publication, Faulkner crafted a "me and Pap" story around many of the horse-trading events, He made young V. K. Ratliff both "boy" and "Story-Teller" in The Hamlet (1940), while the youngster's neighbor, Ab Snopes, replaces "Pap" as the "fool." The most consequential change in the novel, however, is that Vynie Snopes, Ab's wife here, finally trades the cow to get her cream back. We have speculatively chosen 1936, the year of the story's publication, as the "time present" of the Story-Teller's relation. of this experience of his child hood.


The story begins "Yes, sir" (119), apparently calling attention to the way it is being told to an audience of listeners. Its first section alternates between setting the story's general scene and anticipating its larger narrative on the one hand, and on the other describing specific details about the day Pap traded for Beasley Kemp's horse, and the misadventures that followed. When the adult narrator is framing the larger story for his audience, we identify the events as "Told." When he depicts what he experienced as a boy of twelve, the events are "Narrated." To start, then, the storyteller introduces his cast of characters and the idea of horse-trading.

Chronological Order: 
Indeterminate Date Range: 
Story-Telling, Horse-Trading, Marriage, Pride, Innocence, Humor, Interpretation