Little Town on the Prairie (Chapter 1)

Little Town on the Prairie

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Chapter 1
Surprise

One evening at supper, Pa asked, “How would you like to work in town, Laura?” Laura could not say a word. Neither could any of the others. They all sat as if they were frozen. Grace’s blue eyes stared over the rim of her tin cup, Carrie’s teeth stayed bitten into a slice of bread, and Mary’s hand held her fork stopped in the air. Ma let tea go pouring from the teapot’s spout into Pa’s brimming cup. Just in time, she quickly set down the teapot.

“What did you say, Charles?” she asked.

“I asked Laura how she’d like to take a job in town,” Pa replied.

“A job? For a girl? In town?” Ma said. “Why, what kind of a job—” Then quickly she said, “No, Charles, I won’t have Laura working out in a hotel among all kinds of strangers.”

“Who said such a thing?” Pa demanded. “No girl of ours’ll do that, not while I’m alive and kicking.”

“Of course not,” Ma apologized. “You took me so by surprise. What other kind of work can there be? and Laura not old enough to teach school yet.”

All in the minute before Pa began to explain, Laura thought of the town, and of the homestead claim where they were all so busy and happy now in the springtime, and she did not want anything changed. She did not want to work in town.

 

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