Thursday, November 9th, 2017...4:41 pmA New Woman

Thinking of Home

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Book I, Chapter VI from Antonia’s perspective

One lovely fall afternoon, Jim and I settled on the bank by the badger’s den for our reading lesson. By this time I knew nearly all the English I needed to talk about nearly anything with Jim, and as we sat in a patch of sunlight, he told me that winter was in the air. In my thin dress and bare feet, I felt the chill when I wasn’t in the sun-warmed grass.¬†¬†Sitting above the badger’s nest reminded me of the dogs that the men in Bohemia used to train to dive into badger den’s and kill the creatures. Men and dogs in Nebraska did not care about the badger. Dogs in Bohemia were greatly rewarded for hunting a badger, but badgers in Nebraska are simply ignored. How strange.

Rabbits were dancing through the prairies, very much alive, but it seemed as if all the little bugs and things that had once filled the summer air with their buzzing had faded away with the season. Suddenly, as Jim and I watched, a lone survivor appeared from the buffalo grass. A frail green grasshopper, he made a feeble attempt to hop into a patch a bluestem before I picked him up.

“Good afternoon, sir,” I sang to him in Bohemian. “Pick up your head, pick up your feet, sing us a song!”

And he did. Before I knew what was happening, tears were streaming down my face in time to his raspy chirping melody.

Jim was quite alarmed. “Are you alright? Is something wrong?” he asked.

I shook my head and sniffled. “In my village at home,” I explained, “there was an old beggar woman who went about selling herbs and roots that she had dug up in the forest. If you took her in and gave her a warm place by the fire, she sang old songs to the children in a cracked voice, one like this cricket.”

“This makes you sad?” Jim wanted to know.

I sighed. “Her name was Old Hata. I used to wait by the door of our house for her every day to give her the candy and baking that my mama and I had made.”


1 Comment

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 14th, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Jordyn–it’s such fun to read you writing in this creative experiment with p.o.v. Two facets of Antonia’s character come through so fully in your rendition of this scene: her embodiment (how she feels in the sun on the prairie) and her full emotional life. Nice job!

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