Drinking Gourd, The - Study Guide
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Deacon Fuller sends his son, Tommy, home early from church for misbehaving. Alone, Tommy goes to the barn to visit the horses, but when he hears a noise in the loft, he discovers a family of runaway slaves hiding in the hay. Big Jeff, his wife Vinnie, his son Little Jeff, and Baby Pearl, have escaped from a plantation in South Carolina. They are following the drinking gourd, a constellation in the northern sky that points the way to freedom. Tommy learns that his father is part of the underground railroad helping slaves escape to freedom in Canada, and learns what freedom is worth as he protects the family from discovery and waits to see if his father will come home safely.