Throughout the day, several boys arrive and give Tom their treasures in order to be allowed to have a turn at whitewashing the fence. Tom begins the job and imagines how all the "free boys" who come skipping by will make fun of him for having to do work on a Saturday.
Tom angrily chases the boy home, then stands outside his house jeering until Alfred's mother shoos him away. The first scene creates the relationship between Tom and his Aunt Polly.
When Tom returns home with his clothes dirty and torn, Aunt Polly decides that, as punishment, he will lose his freedom on Saturday and will have to whitewash the fence. Will anybody care when he is gone? Because there will be other children at the pump, Tom thinks he would prefer to fetch water than to whitewash.
Tom is "not the model boy of the village" and "loathes" the boy who is.