Finding the river

SeasonsMaude hoisted a wicker basket heavy with wet clothes onto her hip and headed out the back door for the clothes line. She wasn’t going to tell Lilly where she was going.

Lilly was still washing breakfast dishes and Maude was restless. Even if Lilly had asked her to rest after breakfast, who wanted to do that? It was hard to sit still when her hands itched for work.

Maude hurried as fast as her old legs could carry her, before Lilly could call for her to stop. Lilly didn’t understand.

Lilly needed her help. With that brood of kids, she worked hard all day long.

And she was too stubborn to let Maude help.

Maude looked across the yard. Where was the clothes line? She hadn’t been visiting long enough to spot it immediately. Oh, there it was.

She dug wooden clothes pins out of a bag hanging near one of the poles. First, she’d hang all the boys’ pants. Then the socks.

The basket emptied slowly and the sun seemed a little closer when she finished the job. Maude ran the back of her hand across her forehead. It was going to be a hot one.

Lilly hadn’t caught her yet and the job was done. Maude hoped she would be pleased with the help.

Time to head back in. Judging by the sun, it was probably time to start making dinner.

Maude hoisted the basket onto her hip again and turned. What in the world? She turned again and squinted her eyes.

The river in the valley below looked different. The entire valley had shifted. She turned again. Where had the back door gone?

She was lost.

She chose a direction and headed off. Before long, she heard a call.

“Mom! Mom! Where are you going?”

It was Lilly, behind her. Maude turned around. She’d known Lilly would come for her. She waved her arm and Lilly ran to her.

“Where were you going?”

Maude shrugged her shoulders. “I had to find a new way home. The river moved.”


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