By The Shores Of Silver Lake (Chaprer 32)

By The Shores Of Silver Lake

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Chapter 32
Evening Shadows Fall

Sam and David stood quietly, resting in the stable, with the smoke screen before the door. Ellen, on her picket rope, lay comfortably in the smoke from the smudge. No mosquitoes could get at them.

There was not one of the singing pests inside the claim shanty. They could not come through the mosquito bar over the door and windows.

“Now we are all snug,” Pa said, “settled at last on our homestead. Bring me the fiddle, Laura, and we’ll have a little music!”

Grace was safely in her bed with Carrie beside her. Ma and Mary sat rocking gently in the shadows. But moonlight shone through the southern window and touched Pa’s face and hands and the fiddle as the bow moved smoothly over the strings.

Laura sat near Mary and watched it as she thought how the moonlight would be shining in the fairy ring where the violets grew. It was just the night for fairies to be dancing there.

Pa was singing with the fiddle:

In Scarlet town where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwellin’;
And every youth cried ‘Well-a-wa.’
Her name was Barbary Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
When green buds they were swellin’
Young Johnnie Grove on his death bed lay
For love of Barbary Allen.”

Laura drew the curtain as she and Mary joined Carrie and Grace in their tiny bedroom.

And, as she fell asleep still thinking of violets and fairy rings and moonlight over the wide, wide land, where their very own homestead lay, Pa and the fiddle were softly singing:

“Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home,
Be it ever so humble
There is no place like home.”

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