In The Red Pony, John Steinbeck's celebration of the spirit and courage of adolescence, we meet Jody Tiflin. Like most ten-year-old boys, Jody feels the urge for rebellion as well as the need to be loved. In these stories, Jody begins to learn about adulthood - its pains, its responsibilities and its problems - through the acceptance of his father's gifts. First he is given a red pony and later he is promised the colt of a bay mare. But both these gifts bring tragedy as well as joy, and Jody not only learns some harsh lessons about life (and death), but is also made painfully aware of the fallibility of adults.