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Furlough Tilling

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Furlough tilling

Furlough Tilling is a minor antagonist in The Tale of Despereaux. He is the hero Despereaux's brother. Like his mother and father and most other mice, he is fearful by nature, and can be extremely cowardly and cruel, particularly towards his younger brother, whom he belittles because of his big ears and because Despereaux is brave and shows no fear, which is consider bad in mouse culture.

When Despereaux refuses to behave properly, Furlough takes him to a library to teach him how to chew books, but Despereaux reads them instead. While reading the books, Despereaux befriends a human princess, for which Furlough tells on him to the adults. For the crime of consorting with a human, Despereaux is banished and Furlough does nothing to help him.

At the end of the film, Furlough is unhappy and jealous of his successful brother after he returns heroic, but is never punished for his cruel abandonment and betrayal of his sibling.

In the film adaptation, Furlough is more sympathetic, but still kind of a jerk. His betrayal of his brother's confidence is at the urging of their very worried father. He still doesn't help Despereaux when he gets banished, but is not actively malicious.

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