After Pa's death Kim had to take the role of man man of the house. He wanted to act strong so he could support his family. Early in the mornings he would go to town and get everyone's work assignments.
Ma's Little Monkey
To provide for the family he starts to steal form the corn fields late at night. He hides from the soldiers who patrol and gets through because they can't guard all at ounce. His family worries but he comes home late with bags of sweet corn.
One day he goes while it's raining, but because of the rain he doesn't here the soldiers come. They hit hit with the butt of the gun and beat him multiple times. He begs for forgiveness and they end up letting him go as long as he never does it again.
When Kim comes home he's in really bad condition and Ma feels terrible for letting her "little monkey" go out and do such a dangerous thing. After that day Kim was never the same and he didn't steal food for the family anymore.