In chapter eight
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Mr. Arable loves his daughter and finds her amusing. His wife, however, worries about her. When Mrs. Arable voiced her concerns, her husband chuckled.
Mr. Arable chuckled.
"Maybe they do talk," he said. "I've sometimes wondered. At any rate, don't worry about Fern - she's just got a lively imagination. Kids think they hear all sorts of things.