It is also important to note that the story begins with Robert running away from a fight and ends with him fighting bravely. He runs away from Edward Thatcher despite his desire to defend his way of life but then he nearly dies to save the life of a cow and her half born calf. This can be seen as Robert's first step toward adulthood. Never again do we see Robert regretting something that he does not do throughout the rest of the book. Though the cow ordeal nearly kills Robert, he continues to act on impulse, even though the results are often harsh. He perseveres over the situation with Apron by using his mind and sacrificing his body.