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4:43 PM
Wind Song

by Carol Moore

It was a day like the day before and the day after. The wind wrapped itself around the sod cabin in gusting moans as the pioneer family within carried out their tasks pretending not to hear. They heard the wind, however. It had been their constant companion on the open plains since their journey from Philadelphia two years before in the spring of 1865. Following the covered wagon train of ten, the wind had lifted the drab landscape into billows of dust falling on everyone and everything until there seemed but one color and one sound.

Now Rachel sat on the bed hand-stitching a quilt while her mother hunched over a sewing machine across the room rocking her feet backwards and forwards on a foot treadle that turned the shaft that moved the needle. The thumping counter pointed the wind outside. Laughter and giggling erupted from Rachel's younger brother and sister playing jacks on the floor and it brought a smile to their sister's face, but when she glanced back at their mother she stopped smiling.

Rachel felt that her parents worked too hard. They rarely had fun or relaxation like they had enjoyed in Philadelphia. Now her father was always in the fields. Her mother prepared meals on a wood-stoked stove, did the laundry on a washboard, baked flatbread and sewed clothes to trade for goods in town. Rachel remembered her mother singing and telling stories at one time but that was before she had begun complaining about the wind and the dirt and the mud. Eventually she had stopped complaining, but she had stopped singing, too.

To be continue--

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