This last week of A to Z…it’s a challenge.
Once again, I will fall back on my good friend –
Laura was running straight toward the south. Grass whipped soft against her bare feet. Butterflies fluttered over the flowers. There wasn’t a bush nor a weed that Grace could be hidden behind. There was nothing, nothing but grass and flowers swaying in the sunshine.
If she were little and playing all by herself, Laura thought, she wouldn’t go into the dark Big Slough, she wouldn’t go into the mud and the tall grass. Oh, Grace, why didn’t I watch you? she thought. Sweet pretty little helpless sister – “Grace! Grace!” she screamed. Her breath caught and hurt in her side.
She ran on and on. Grace must have gone this way. Maybe she chased a butterfly. She didn’t go into Big Slough! She didn’t climb the hill, she wasn’t there. Oh, baby sister, I couldn’t see you anywhere east or south on this hateful prairie, “Grace!”
The horrible, sunny prairie was so large. No lost baby could ever be found on it. Ma’s calling and Pa’s shouts came from Big Slough. They were thin cries, lost in wind, lost on the enormous bigness of the prairie.
Laura’s breathing hurt her sides under the ribs. Her chest was smothering and her eyes were dizzy. She ran up a low slope. Nothing, nothing, not a spot of shadow was anywhere on the level prairie all around her. She ran on, and suddenly the ground dropped before her. She almost fell down a steep bank.
There was Grace. There, in a great pool of blue, sat Grace. The sun shone on her golden hair blowing in the wind. She looked up at Laura with big eyes as blue as violets. Her hands were full of violets. She held them up to Laura and said, “Sweet! Sweet!”
Laura sank down and took Grace in her arms. She held Grace carefully and panted for breath. Grace leaned over her arm to reach for more violets. They were surrounded by masses of violets blossoming above low-spreading leaves. Violets covered the flat bottom of a large, round hollow. All around this lake of violets, grassy banks rose almost straight up to the prairie-level. There in the round, low place the wind hardly disturbed the fragrance of the violets. The sun was warm there, the sky was overhead, the green walls of grass curved all around, and butterflies fluttered over the crowding violet-faces.