Sidebar: Do you remember the episode where there was a new little girl in town and one leg was several inches shorter than the other, so while all the other children were running and playing, she could only sit sadly and watch? Then Pa figured out that if he built a platform out of boards for the girl's shoe on her short leg, it would even her out and she could run and play, too. I'm not sure why the girl's own father hadn't figured this out before now. It was the 1870s for pete's sake; not the stone age. But then the girl's dad got really angry and he confronted Pa and said the only line I've ever memorized from a Little House show: "I told you not to meddle." And he said it just like that, italicized and all. I think I remember it so well because I was all "Why did he tell Pa not to metal?" and then my mom had to explain to me that he told him not to meddle. And while the two Pa's were engaging in a physical altercation in the barn, the girl's dad caught a glimpse out the window of this daughter running and playing with the other children and he realized that Pa had changed his child's life for the better and everyone lived happily ever after. Do you remember that one?Every day we played Little House in our costumes and cabin. Usually, in our play, our parents had died tragically in a wagon accident, or a prairie fire, or an Indian scalping, and it was just us girls, forging a life for ourselves on the lonesome prairie.
So it's a little odd that I never got past Farmer Boy in the book series.
To be fair, I was not the "reader" child in the family. My sister was. I was more the putting-on-shows-singing-and-dancing-my-way-to-imminent-fame child. Today, my sister is a librarian and I'm still working on that fame thing.
Recently I was reading Jenny The Bloggess's book and she referenced reading Little House on the Prairie with her daughter. And I was all, "Ohhh! Little House!"
And then, I was at the dog park with my dog Shelby
and the grass has gotten really high out there. Really high - like when Shels goes running through the high grass, I can't even see her. And as we're walking the path, and the tall grass is blowing, and all I can think of is how much like Little House it is. Only the path just wraps around for miles and ends back at the beginning, instead of taking you to Town. I'm not saying that I pretend I'm Laura and that Shelby is Jack, her brindle bulldog. Because that would be stupid. I'm a grown woman.
So, having finished Jenny's book and considering what I might read next, I couldn't get away from the feeling that I really must read the Little House series. Only, they're not available as ebooks. Which is CRAZY, right?? But a friend of mine saw my post about it on twitter and kindly lent me her childhood set!
Which is just like the set my sister and I had, only I think my sister ended up with it because she had daughters. We also had hardbacks of all the books. I guess she ended up with all those, too.
I read the first book, Little House in the Big Woods, the first day. I was surprised to find that it wasn't so much the story of Laura Ingalls as it was "this is how people lived on the frontier." Chapter One started right in with the butchering and headcheese.
Yesterday I read book two, Little House on the Prairie, and the family has relocated from the woods of Wisconsin to "Indian Country," a.k.a. "Kansas." And it's kind of more of the same -- how to build a cabin, how to dig a well. Although there was the tale of nearly losing Jack when they crossed a high creek. That did touch on relationships and feelings.
I'm partway through Farmer Boy now which is more of the same only about farms. I think it did me in as a child because I was 8. Who cares about BOYS.
I'll let you know when Nellie Olsen arrives on the scene. I hope it's soon.