Frederick Douglass was a slave, born on a plantation in the South. He never knew his mother because she was taken away before he could really get to know her. When he asked others about her, they always said that she was one of the only slaves who knew how to read and write. As of right now, he is working for Thomas Auld who is renting him out for a year to Mr. Covey to be “broken properly.” Mr. Covey has many large fields to work on, many animals that need to be tended to, and a cold personality. It was one of the hotter days in August and the sun was radiating a blistering, burning heat across the fields. Douglass, William Hughes, Bill Smith, and another slave named Eli were fanning wheat. They were all working hard to finish their job.
Eli was turning the fan. Douglass was carrying the wheat to the fan, where Bill was waiting to take the wheat from him. Then Bill would put the wheat in front of the fan. After the wheat was fanned, Hughes would move it. While working, Douglass begins to feel sick. His body feels weighed down and he feels lightheaded. His stomach feels like it's burning like a forest fire. While going back to get some more wheat, he stumbles and falls. He hits the ground with a heavy thud. Upon seeing Douglass faint, everyone stops what they are doing. Eli stops turning the fan and Hughes stops moving the wheat. Bill no longer has someone to take wheat from and no one to fan it.
The sound of the fan stopping caught Mr. Covey’s attention. Mr. Covey walks over and ask what the problem is. Bill points to Douglass. He’s sprawled across the ground, not moving. Mr. Covey walks over to him. “Get up.” He spoke angrily. Douglass doesn’t move. Mr. Covey kicks him and he curls up in pain. “Get up and finish what you’re doing.” Mr. Covey commands.