Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'm sure many of you read the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I bet you missed this part, or that it didn't make sense to you then. I reread the series last Summer while waiting for my miscarriage and this small section was so much more vivid based on what I know now:

...and then one day that was really warm they drove the four miles to see their good friends, the Boasts.

Mr. and Mrs. Boast lived by themselves on their farm They had no children and could hardly make fuss enough over Rose.

When at last the visit was over and Mr. Boast was standing by the buggy to see them start, he started to speak, but then hesitated and finally said in a queer voice, "If you folks will let me take the baby in to Ellie for her to keep, you may take the best horse out of my stable there and lead it home."

Manly and Laura were still in astonishment, and Mr. Boast went on. "You folks can have another baby and we can't. We never can."

Manly gathered up the reins, and Laura said with a little gasp, "Oh no! No! Drive on, Manly!" As they drove away, she hugged Rose tightly; but she was sorry for Mr. Boast as he stood still where they had left him, and for Mrs. Boast waiting in the house, knowing, she was sure, what Mr. Boast was going to propose to them.

From The First Four Years, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

As it happened the Wilders had their little girl Rose and then a son who passed away in his first year. They had no other children of their own after that. Still, I wonder what the true backstory was of the Boasts and what conditions and circumstance had left them childless and so convinced that they would have none.

1 comment:

Anna H. said...

Oh God, I read those books and loved them... how heartbreaking.