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THE HUNDREDTH DOVE - Jane Yolen (1939)


Hugh: (fowler/someone who hunts wild birds for food)

The King

The Queen (lady Columba)

White Dove

  • What was Hugh’s Job?
    Hugh was the fowler for the king.
  • How many doves does he catch?
    100 (99 alive, 1 dead)
  • Who was the white dove?
    Lady Columba was the dove.
  • What are the rewards the white dove offers Hugh?
    Fame and fortune, gold and silver, and the love of the Queen
  • What does the king ask Hugh to do?
    He asks him to catch 100 birds for the wedding feast.
  • What motto does Hugh wear and what does it mean?
    Hugh wears the motto servo, meaning I serve.
  • What happens when Hugh tries to catch the white dove?
    The dove slips through the net and flies away.
  • What are two ways Hugh hunts birds?
    He uses nets and bows. If it is a big bird he uses a bow and arrow, and for small birds like doves he used net
  • After the king tells Hugh his request, how does lady Columba react?
    She gasps, holds her hand up and tells him not to serve the doves.
  • What two things does Hugh serve? Which comes first?
    Hugh serves the king and the forest. The king comes first.

The Hundredth Dove raises an important question: when faced with choices, do you follow your head or your heart? It is a tale of the misuse of power and the triumph/victory of love, which are dominating themes in human life. This story is about a man who values his word more than anything.

A man named Hugh (fowler) is ordered to capture a hundred doves in one week for his king's wedding. This task seems nearly impossible for almost anybody else, but Hugh is determined to do his best. After all, he is the King's Fowler and has to obey orders. 

Hugh catches many fat doves a day. One keeps getting away, and he is determined to catch it. After 5 tiring days of hunting, he has still not caught the slim white dove that keeps getting out of his grasp. This is when the part gets much worse for Hugh. The fifth day comes and he still does not catch the bird. In anger, he kills it instead.

Some parts of symbolism almost fit in a perfect way. A dove is a symbol of romance, and that is what the story is mainly based on. From what the story says it seems to be about spring to summertime, which is when romances take place. The parts of the King's house also sound like a romance. That is also a big symbol.


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