She lays on the couch with her legs draped over my lap. A slight hint of a smile plays on her lips as my hands rub her legs and feet. Her eyes are closed as she listens to the words that float out through the room.
“I put up my hand,” said Pa, “and I took hold of–something–”
“What? What was it?” Ma asked.
“I think,” said Pa, “I think it was a mouse.”
“Where is it?” Ma cried out.
“I don’t know. I threw it away, as hard as I could,” said Pa.
“My goodness!” Ma said weakly. “It must have been a mouse. Cutting off your hair to make itself a nest.” (Little Town on the Prairie)
The smile spreads longer as she envisions the mouse gnawing Pa’s hair.
She flips over on her tummy so I can rub her back. The words continue.
The more Laura saw of the town, the more she realized how well off her own family was. That was because Pa had got a whole year’s start ahead of the others. He had broken sod last year. Now they had the garden, and the oatfield, and the second planting of the corn was growing wuite well in the sod. Hay would feed the stock through winter, and Pa could sell the corn and oats, to buy coal. All the new settlers were beginning now where Pa had begun a year ago.” (Little Town on the Prairie)
So the afternoon goes. Reading. Touching. Listening. Smiling.
It was a great afternoon.
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