The Scarlet Ibis

    • 4.3 • 38 Ratings
    • $5.99
    • $5.99

Publisher Description

“The Scarlet Ibis” is a short story written by novelist James Hurst. 

The narrator, who is not named but simply called “Brother,” recounts the life of his younger brother, William Armstrong, or “Doodle.” Doodle is born a sickly child who is not expected to live. His brother wanted someone who could run and jump and play with him but resents having the weak and fragile Doodle instead.

Eventually, at the age of five, Doodle learns to walk with help from Brother. Encouraged by this, the brother decides to teach Doodle how to run, climb vines, swim, and even fight to prepare Doodle for school. However, almost a year after the plan was made, Doodle was far from accomplishing the goals by the nearing deadline.

One day, a big red bird appears in their garden, looking sick and tired. The boys’ father identifies it as a Scarlet Ibis, a tropical bird that was blown off course by a recent storm. When the bird dies, Doodle, pitying the creature, buries it. Afterwards, the boys go to nearby Old Woman Swamp to continue Doodle’s “training.” On their way back to the house, Brother has Doodle practice rowing. A sudden rainstorm comes, and when they reach the riverbank, Doodle is tired and frightened. Brother, angry and frustrated that Doodle could not finish his training before school starts, runs ahead of Doodle, leaving the frightened boy behind. When Brother does not see Doodle, Brother returns for Doodle, only to find Doodle, lifeless, sitting next to a red-berried bush with blood flowing out of his mouth, staining his throat and shirt red. Doodle died like the Scarlet Ibis: red and a long way from home.

Fiction & Literature
September 25
Luneta Press LLC (
Luneta Press LLC

Customer Reviews

Theoneandonlyjoker ,

Best Story Ever

As a young kid I got the nickname Doodle from my English class teacher and everybody around school called me it from that day on I still read this story today and will read it to my son amazing story wish I wasn’t so short tho

Mrs Lena B ,

The Scarlet Ibis

My 14 year old son came home from school today talking about this book and how good it was with an interesting story and wanted me to read it. He hates reading and isn’t this interested in anything to do with school so I was eager to read it. I thought for myself it was a great read...sad and sweet and true and it really reached my kid too.

Jamintheruler ,

Good book

It is a really good book but it is really sad though. They should make a second book about this subject.

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