5 The Dung Heap1 – Why is the chapter titled “The Dung Heap?” What is the importance to the story?2 – Describe the main character. How does she look? What are her names?How did she get the three different names?3 - What happens to Brat at the end of the chapter?
6 The Cat 1 – Why didn’t Beetle feed the frozen nest of mice to the cat? 2 – How did the town boys treat the cat?3 – Compare how the cat and Beetle are similar.4 – What is important or significant about the cat and Beetle’s relationship?
7 The Midwife 1 – Tell what chores Beetle does for Jane Sharp. 2 – Why did the villagers get angry with Jane? On whom did they take it out?3 – How did Beetle deliberately begin to pick up some midwifery skills?
8 The Miller’s WifeWhat food items became plentiful in the midwife’s cottage that summer? Where did they come from and why?How did Beetle solve the mystery of the excess food?Describe Beetle’s first experience as a midwife. Who was it for? How did it go?
9 The MerchantWhy couldn’t Jane Sharp attend the Saint Swithin’s Day Fair as planned?How did Beetle react to being told she must go in Jane’s place to the fair?What did Beetle have to buy? What else did she acquire? How / why?A number of positive events happened to Beetle at the fair. What were they?Why does Beetle choose to rename herself Alyce?
10 The NamingHow does everyone react to Beetle’s new name? Explain the situations.What does Beetle name the cat and why?What predicament does Alyce help Will Russet out of at the end of chapter 6?
11 The DevilHow was Alyce treated in the village after she saved Will? ExamplesHow did Alyce become aware of how the villagers spent their time?What phenomenon appeared within the village that fall?What activities were revealed by the presence of the strange footprints?What did Alyce throw into the river after the baker’s wife discovered her husband’s folly?
12 The Twins Why was Will calling out from the pit to Alyce? Why did Will tell Alyce she had brought him great luck?What did the villagers notice about Alyce in the late fall of that year?
13 The Bailiff’s Wife’s Baby How did Alyce startle the town boys when she saw them teasing the cat?Why did Jane desert Joan, the bailiff`s wife, during her labor?How was Alyce able to help Joan along her delivery?How does the bailiff respond to Jane when she returns for her fee?
14 The Boy How did Alyce begin to learn more of the midwife’s skills? When Alyce goes to visit Tansy’s calves, what does she find?Where does Alyce send Edward and why?
15 The Leaving Why did Emma Blunt request Alyce to deliver her baby? How did Emma Blunt’s delivery go?How did Alyce react to her inability to deliver Emma’s baby?Where did Alyce go?
16 The Inn Whom did Alyce become fascinated with watching at the inn? How does Alyce learn to recognize letters and words?How does Alyce answer Magister Reese’s question, “Inn girl, what do you want?”
17 Visitors What two familiar visitors come to the inn that spring? How did Alyce react to the visitors?What information did Jane Sharp share with Magister Reese that Alyce overheard?
18 The Manor & EdwardAre Edward and Alyce really related? Why did Edward tell the cook that they were?In what way did Alyce learn the lesson of the “mighty distance between what one imagines and what is” when she traveled to the manor?What chore did Alyce volunteer to do while visiting Edward at the manor?What does Alyce see in her reflection in the river?What is the symbolism between washing the lamb and Alyce?
19 The BabyWhat does the prosperous-looking man claim is his wife’s ailment (illness)?What actually is the woman’s condition?How does Alyce help the situation?After the ordeal that night, what does Alyce do and why?
20 The Midwife’s Apprentice What three offers does Alyce get that June from people she knows at the inn?What does Alyce decide she must do?When Alyce returns to Jane’s the first time,what is Jane’s response?What does Alyce say to Jane the second time that gets her to open her door and let her and the cat in?
21 Author’s NotesIn medieval England was midwifery an honorable profession? Why or why not?What three things were the mainstays of medieval midwifery?