A Child Called It Chapter 1 - The Rescue Summary

This chapter begins by showing the abusive relationship between Dave and his mother. David is rushing to complete the dishes because he knows he will have to endure his mother's anger, which includes depriving David of food, if he fails to finish his chores on time. Upon coming into the kitchen, his mother immediately begins to beat him. He finishes the dishes and other chores and as a reward, he gets one of his brother's leftover cereal from breakfast. Catherine drives her sons to school. She warns David to tell administration, the bruises they see, were an accident. She is clearly suffering from a hangover, and these made up stories to cover her son's scars, have become commonplace. Dave is an outcast in school. He smells because she doesn't allow him to clean himself; and he wears the same tattered clothing every day. Part of the abuse she doles out is meant to humiliate David. He is called down to the nurse's office and his lie gets him nowhere. This nurse has been dealing with David for some time now. She checks his body for other marks and sees the scar on his chest where his mother stabbed him. Dave is panicking because he does not want his mother to find out that he has told on her. He goes back to class only to be called back down to the office where Mr. Ziegler; Miss Moss, his math teacher; the nurse; Mr. Hansen; and a police officer are waiting for him. He is frightened and pleads with them to not call his mother. At the station, the policeman dials David's number (Dave is terrified, of course) and proceeds to leave a message telling Catherine that her son has been taken into custody. The policeman hangs up and tells Dave that he mother will never hurt him again. He says, "You're free."

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