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I began to cry. 'Don't look,' said Aunt Cora. 'Don't look.' She stooped and put her arms round me and I hid my face, but I could feel that they were not so near. I heard someone say something about bad luck and remembered that it was very unlucky to kill a parrot, or even to see a parrot die. They began to go then, quickly, silently, and those that were left drew aside and watched us as we trailed across the grass. They were not laughing anymore."

 

This scene occurs early on in the novel. The recently emancipated and disenfranchised black Creoles have set fire to Antoinette's childhood home, forcing her and her family to flee.