Raymond Carver’s short story “A Small, Good Thing” begins in a bakery. A woman named Ann orders a cake for her son Scotty’s birthday on Monday. She gives the baker her telephone number. The baker promises that the cake will be ready on Monday morning.

On Monday morning, Scotty is walking to school when he steps off the curb and is hit by a car. Scotty walks home but loses consciousness while telling his mother about the accident. Scotty’s father Howard calls an ambulance.

At the hospital, Scotty is diagnosed with a mild concussion and shock. His doctor, Dr. Francis, says that Scotty is not in a coma. In the evening, Howard returns home to change clothes and bathe. He receives a telephone call about a cake, but Howard does not understand and hangs up. Th...

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