Tuck Everlasting: Ending & Epilogue

Instructor: Sarah Garrett

Sarah has taught secondary English and holds a master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction

The ending and epilogue of 'Tuck Everlasting' bring to a close the story of Winnie Foster and the peculiar Tuck family. In these two parts, the reader learns how Mae is able to escape from jail and what happens to Winnie and the Tuck family many years later.

The Ending of Tuck Everlasting

Escape from Prison

The ending of the novel flashes ahead two weeks to Winnie sitting in her yard thinking about the night she helped Mae Tuck escape from jail. The reader learns that on that night, Miles was able to take out the window, and Winnie and Mae switched places. Soon afterward, the constable came in to shutter the window but did not notice that a switch had been made, giving the Tuck family ample time to escape.

The next morning, the constable discovers the switch and angrily tells Winnie that if she were older, she would be arrested for her actions. Winnie's parents come to get her and are shamed by the town. On a positive note, the children of the town now think that Winnie is someone worth being friends with, whereas before they thought she proved too boring.

The Immortal Toad

Suddenly, Winnie sees the toad that hangs around her house jump into view, close enough to touch. Then, she sees a dog coming down the street. The dog sees the toad and begins to go after it. In panic, Winnie grabs the toad and has a brilliant idea. She runs into the house, retrieves the water Jesse left her, then pours it all over the toad. She tells the toad, ''You're safe. Forever.''

A toad like the one Winnie sees
toad in grass

The Epilogue

Revisiting Treegap

Many years have passed when Mae and Tuck return to the town of Treegap. The town looks entirely different now, with paved roads and many more people in it. Mae and Tuck trot along behind the old horse and notice that the wood and Winnie's old home are both gone. They make their way to the village proper, the main part of the town.

On the way, they pass a gas station where the workers comment on their being simple country folk and laugh at them. Mae and Tuck note all the other businesses that have taken over Treegap, such as pharmacies, hotels, a post office, and a five and ten cent store.

Gas Station similar to the one Mae and Tuck pass
gas station

Mae notices the police station and turns her head quickly. She suggests to Tuck that they stop and get a cup of coffee at a local diner. After being seated, a man comes to take their order. Tuck asks him about the wood. The man states that a big electrical storm came through a few years back and struck the big tree and caused fire. Due to the severity, everything had to be dozed out. Tuck mentions the spring, but the man says he didn't know anything about it.

Winnie's Grave

Mae and Tuck soon leave the restaurant and go to the store to stock up on supplies. While Mae is shopping, Tuck goes through the town on foot and notices the cemetery. He goes there and begins looking for Winnie's grave. He feels a sense of sadness when he finds it. Tuck reads the inscription: ''In Loving Memory, Winifred Foster Jackson, Dear Wife, Dear Mother 1870-1948''.Tuck notes that means she has been gone two years. Tuck wipes his eyes, briefly salutes the grave, and says aloud ''Good girl''.

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