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Chapter 11
How Opal Took the Miller's Brand out of the Flour-Sack, and Got Many Sore Feels thereby; and how Sparks Come on Cold Nights; and how William Shakespeare Has Likings for Poems

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  This day, when I was come home from school , I did have much wood to carry in, for cold days are come. I did make goes to the woodshed to get the wood. Going to the woodshed I passed that new flour-sack hanging on the clothesline. It was flapping in the wind. By and by that flour-sack is going to evolute into an underskirt for me to wear under my dress when I go to school. I got my arms full of wood -- as much as they could hold. Then I came into the house to put the wood into the box behind the stove . 175 }
  The mamma was standing by the window. She looked worry looks at that new flour-sack hanging on the clothesline there. She said she wished she knew a quicker way to get that miller's brand out of the flour-sack. She put on her fascinator and went a-visiting. She told me to watch the baby that was sleeping on the bed. While I was carrying in more sticks of wood, I tried to think of a quicker way to get that miller's brand out of that flour-sack a-flapping there in the window. 176 }
  When enough wood was in and two more loads besides, I did sit on the woodbox. After I did sit still a most long time, thinks did come of a way . I got the scissors out. I got them out of the mamma's workbasket. The time it did take to cut the miller's brand out of the flour-sack, it was only a little time. And when it was fixed, I did fold it in nice folds with the nice crooks sticking out. The scissors did make those crooks in a nice way. Scissors are useful. I do find much use for them. But the mamma likes not the uses I find for the scissors. She does say I am a new sance . I guess a new sance is something some grown-up people don't like to have around at all. 177 }
  I have wonders about things. I have sore feels in my heart and sore feels on the back part of me . I so want to be helps to the mamma . But it's very hard. Why, today when I did run to meet her, I did say, "It's out. -- It's out. -- I've got it out." And she looked no glad looks. She did only look looks about for a hazel bush . First one she saw, she did take two limbs of it. All the way to the door she made tingles on me with them. I do not think she does have knowing how they feel -- such queer sore feels. I feel she would not like their feels. 178 }
Follow One Character When we were come to the door, she did tell me to stay outside. She said I couldn't come into her house. But I did have knowing where I could go. I went to talk with Good King Edward I and lovely Eleanor of Castile . I did climb onto the lane fence and into the arms of lovely Queen Eleanor. I do so like to be in her arms when things do trouble me. She has understandings. From her arms I did go to hunt for the soul of Peter Paul Rubens . Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil rode in my left apron pocket and Nannerl Mozart rode in my right apron pocket. She is a most shy mouse and does keep her nose hid. As we did go along, I did gather gray leaves. Forty-two gray leaves I did so gather. 179 }
  Then we went on. We went on to the near woods . I had not findings today for the soul of my dear Peter Paul Rubens , but I did tell the wind that was walking in the woods to tell Peter Paul Rubens I was come a-seeking for his soul. Then I did turn my face to the way that does lead to the cathedral . On the way I met with Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Brave Horatius and Isaiah . 180 }
  Together we did go to the cathedral . We went unto the little tree that I have planted there for rememberings of good John Milton, for this day is the day of his borning in 1608. We did have prayers. It was so lonesome -- Peter Paul Rubens not being there to grunt Amen at in-between times. Brave Horatius came near unto me when prayers were most done. He did put his nose against my hand for a pat. I gave him two. One was for him and one was for Peter Paul Rubens that was. 181 }
  Then we all did go in the way that does lead to the singing creek where the willows grow. When we were come, all that were with me did stand very close by. They so did stand while I did drop the gray leaves upon the water. All the forty-two leaves I did gather I did drop upon the water, for this is the day of the going-away of Antoine Van Dyck in 1641. And his years they were forty-two. When the leaves were all upon the water I did say a little prayer, and we came home. It was most dark-time and the lamp on the kitchen table did shine its light out the window. And it came down the path to meet us. 182 }
  There were pictures on the window-panes when I woke up this morning. By-and-by the fire in the stove made the room warm, and the pictures on the window-panes went away. I was sorry when they went away. I so did like to look looks at them. 183 }
  When I did have my breakfast, the mamma did send me to take a bucket of something with eggs on top it to the ranch-house . The outdoors did have coldness. It did make my fingers to have queer feels . And my nose felt like I didn't have any. Brave Horatius followed after me as I did go along. As I did go along, I did see ice on the mud-puddles. Every now and then I did stop to break the ice on the mud-puddles. I broke the ice to see what was in the water. Under the ice that was over the cow-tracks there was no water -- only dirt, cold and stiff, with little crystals on it. 184 }
  When I was come to the ranch-house , the grandma did come to the door, and she took the bucket of something with eggs on top it, that the mamma did send to her. I started on to school . I did go as far as the pump . I made a stop there. I was going to give its handle some lift-ups and some pulldowns, so water would come out. I have likes to see water come out of that pump. But today water won't come out of the pump. The pump handle won't go up and down. The grandpa said it froze in the night. I think it has got the croup . I expect it needs some coal-oil . I have thinks I must tend to that pump tonight. 185 }
Follow One Character All day here at school I now do study. For little bits of times I do study my school-book. But most of the time I do study the books Angel Father and Angel Mother did write in. I do study these most every day at school. I do study the spell of the words. And after times and before times I do sing the spelling of the words to the gentle Jersey cow while I do ride her to pasture. And I sit in the manger at evening-time and sing the spellings of these words to William Shakespeare when he is come home from work in the woods. I have thinks most of my animal friends do have knowings of the spellings of these words. It so often is I do sing the spellings of these words to them. 186 }
  When I did come home from school tonight, I did make a stop at that pump to see how much coal oil it did need for its croup . But it had no needs to be tended . The croup that it did have on this morning was all gone. When I did give its handle some lift-ups and some push-downs, water did come out. I watched it. It stopped coming out when I did stop giving it lift-ups and push-downs. I went on. 187 }
  I saw the black cat by the barn. On cold nights I have given that cat long rubs on its back, and sparks have come. I did have thinks about sparky things as I did come on home. Now I have knowings of these. Cats are sparky -- black ones on a cold night. Stoves are sparky on cold days. Rocks are sparky -- flint ones when you give them a thump. The chore boy says some people are sparky. He doesn't know what he is talking about. 188 }
  When I was come into the house we live in , I gave the baby a gentle thump. It squawked, but there were no sparks. Then the mamma came in the back door. She had not knows why it squawked, but she did tell me to mind it. I so did. The mamma went out again to the house of Elsie . When she was gone, I did sing to the baby a new song I did make up today. Most every day I do make up a song. I sing them not when the mamma is in the house, for she does give me most hard spankings when I do start to sing them. Today I did teeter the baby on the bed as she said. And more I did. I did sing to her the new song. I did sing to her:

"Maintenant est hiver,
Le ciel est gris,
Le champ est tranquille,
Les fleurs dorment,
Maintenant est hiver
189 }
  Then she did kick many kicks in the air. I did tickle her toes. She likes to have her toes tickled. She has likes for it. This baby has likes for many things. She has likes to sit up on the bed. The mamma has me to prop it up so it won't fall over. And this baby -- it has likes to make bubbles with its mouth and to stick its foot in its mouth. It does like to rattle all the rattles the grandma and Jenny Strong and Elsie bring to it. It does have such likes to be rocked. And most of the times when it is awake, it does want to be singed to and carried about. It is a baby what has satisfaction looks on its face for a little time when it gets what it wants. It only has those satisfaction looks a little time. Soon it does have some more wants, and it wants to have what it wants. The mamma does have me to rock it and rock it and teeter it on the bed and walk the floor with it. Sometimes it does get most heavy. Then I do let my knees bend under and I do sit on the floor and rock it back and forth. The mamma, she does have much likes for it to have what it wants. 190 }
  I am joy all over. I have found in the near woods a plant that has berries like the berries symphorine has. And its leaves are like the leaves symphorine has. I have had seeings of it before, and every time I do meet with this new old plant, I do say, "I have happy feels to see you, Symphorine." And when the wind comes walking in the near woods, the little leaves of symphorine do whisper little whispers. I have thinks they are telling me they were come here before I was come here. I make a stop to have more listens. They do whisper, "See, petite Françoise , we were a long time come." I can see they were, too, because their toes have grown quite a ways down in the ground. 191 }
  Today, as I did walk a walk to where they grow, I did tell them about the day that it is. I told them all about this being the horning day of Jeanne d'Albret, mère de Henri IV in 1528. I told the year-numbers on my fingers. I had thinks they might have remembers better if I so told them on my fingers. I do have remembers of numbers better when I do tell them on my fingers. Brave Horatius did stand by and listen while I so told them. We went on. 192 }
  I tied bits of bread on the tips of the branches of the trees. Too, I tied on popcorn kernels. They looked like snow-flowers blooming there on fir trees. I looked looks back at them. I have knows the birds will be glad for them. Often I do bring them here for them. When I do have hungry feels I feel the hungry feels the birds must be having. So I do have comes to tie things on the trees for them. Some have likes for different things. Little gray one of the black cap has likes for suet . And other folks has likes for other things. 193 }
Follow One Character There is a little box in the woods that I do keep things for the pheasants and grouses and squirrels and more little birds and wood-mouses and woodrats. In fall-time days Peter Paul Rubens did come here with me when I did bring seeds and nuts to this box for days of hiver. When we were come to the box, I did have more thinks of him. I think the soul of Peter Paul Rubens is not afar. I think it is in the forest. I go looking for it. I climb up in the trees. I call and call. And then when I find it not, I do print a message on a leaf, and I tie it onto the highest limb I can reach. And I leave it there with a little prayer for Peter Paul Rubens. I do miss him so. 194 }
Follow One Character Today, after I so did leave a message on a leaf away up in a tree for him, I did have going in along the lane and out across the field and down the road beyond the meeting of the roads . There was grayness everywhere -- gray clouds in the sky and gray shadows above and in the canyon . And all the voices that did speak -- they were gray tones. "Petite Françoise , c'est jour gris." And all the little lichens I did see along the way did seem a very part of all the grayness. And Felix Mendelssohn in my apron pocket -- he was a part of the grayness, too. And as I did go adown the road, I did meet with a gray horse -- and his grayness was like the grayness of William Shakespeare . Then I did turn about. I did turn my face to the near woods where is William Shakespeare. 195 }
  When Rob Ryder isn't looking, I give to William Shakespeare pieces of apple and I pull grass for him. He so likes a nice bit to eat after he does pull a long pull on the logs. And while I do feed him bits of apple and bits of grass, I do tell him poems. William Shakespeare has likes for poems. And sometimes I do walk along by him when he is pulling in logs and I do tell the poems to him while he pulls. And I give his head rubs when he is tired, and his back too. And on some Sundays when he is in the pasture I go there to talk with him. He comes to meet me. William Shakespeare and I -- we are friends. His soul is very beautiful. The man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice says he is a dear old horse. 196 }

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11 18 30 175

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