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When they are alone in the barn, Curley's wife is curious as to Lennie's interest in rabbits, and thirsty for company and a conversation on any subject, she questions him about his interest. When he tells her he likes to 'pet soft things' she expresses her love of the feel of velvet. This is what leads to him touching her hair and eventually breaking her neck.
Previously, however, she has shown her jealousy of the men's plans, telling Lennie, Crooks and Candy that men have had such dreams before but never attained them.