What Is a Summary of "A White Heron"?


Quick Answer

"The White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett, is the story of Sylvia, a 9-year-old girl who lives on a small farm on the coast of Maine with her grandmother. The story begins with Sylvia walking home with her cow, Mistress Moolly.

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Full Answer

As the pair nears home, a young hunter appears from the forest and asks Sylvia for directions to the nearest road. Sylvia takes the young man home, and her grandmother offers the man a bed for the night. Over the course of the night, Sylvia discovers that the man is hunting a white heron that he had seen in the forest. Sylvia remembers seeing the heron and tells the young man so. He asks Sylvia to take him to where she last saw the heron and even offers her $10 as payment. Sylvia agrees and the next morning she sets out with the hunter to find the heron.

As the two are searching through the forest, they begin to talk, and Sylvia falls in love with the young man. They do not find the heron and end up having to return home as night falls. The next morning, Sylvia wakes up early and climbs the tallest tree in the forest in hopes that she will be able to see the white heron. She finds the bird but does not tell the young hunter. The hunter leaves and the story ends.

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