This simile appears when Doodle learns to walk and anticipates the story's conclusion. The comparison of keeping a secret to holding your breath is important, because again, it fits with the story's contrast of life and death. Breath and breathing is a clear sign of life, while not breathing—holding your breath—is representative of death. In a way, this suggests that the brothers are keeping a deadly secret. Even though Doodle's ability to walk is nothing short of a miracle, it will give the brothers false hubris and lead them to believe they can accomplish what in reality is just not possible.