Treasure in the Big Woods

"Is he... is he an Indian?" Peggy Jean whispered fearfully.
"Time to get up," Mother called. "There are too many exciting things to see and to do to stay in bed. Breakfast is almost ready. Your play clothes are on the foot of your beds."
Everyone was up early to do as many chores as possible before breakfast. They made the beds, fed the chickens, gathered the eggs, milked the cows, took them down to the lake and then hurried them out to pasture.
"When are we going to have our big bonfire?" Helen asked.
One day as Mother stood looking out the window, they heard her call, "Oh-oh! Come watch! That old ram is bossing Betsy again."
Busy days followed one another in the new home in the big woods. Good smells from Mother's kitchen drifted out to the garden where the girls were picking vegetables for her to can for winter. Beans, peas, corn and beets were now in {s
Often before bedtime the girls would coax Mother to tell them a story about when she was a little girl. One night before bed she told them this story: "I was only seven years old when my mother became very sick and died. My sister Sadie
One evening after Father had wound the big clock and sent Mollie out to sleep in the barn, he shivered as he closed the door for the night. "There'll be snow on the ground by morning. A body can smell it and feel it in
When the school board came again, Mother's answer was yes, for they had agreed to the Friday Sunday School. "Mind you, we had some people make strong objections, but when we made it plain that it was that or no school for the rest of the winter,
Father and Uncle Bob were building a small log house-at least it looked like that, but it had no roof, no windows and an open doorway. It had taken only one day to build it, and they had not bothered to take the bark off the
It was January and cold, cold, cold! The mile up the road to the Jasmer Schoolhouse seemed like a very long mile to Mother and the girls. They wore warm sweaters under their heavy coats and pulled on knitted caps, thick scarves and knitted stockings from their own
One Saturday morning as Mother was checking over her food supply in the cupboard, she noticed her cheese was being nibbled away. "I must have a mouse getting into this cupboard," the children heard her say. "I can't imagine how he gets in and out, but
While Mother and the girls had been with Grandmother and Grandfather in Minneapolis, one day before coming up to live in their little house in the big woods, Grandmother had a serious talk with Naomi. "Naomi, I want you to listen carefully to what I have
"What are you doing, Uncle Bob?"
"Now, what surprise does your father have hidden under his jacket?" Mother wondered out loud as she looked out the kitchen window toward the log barn down the hill.
Busy days came with early summer, and there was work for everyone, even the three sisters. Father was plowing in front of the house, forming a big garden that sloped away down to the incoming trail. Raspberry bushes edged the barbed-wire fence on one side
The wild strawberries were ripe! Every day the girls were busy picking them in the pasture, the sheep meadow and along the sides of the trail. Fingers and lips were often a rosy red, and sometimes the wagon wheels looked like they were dripping with
Uncle Bob's new house was finished. It was built on the slope of a small hill and looked out across the lovely lake. Trees were on all sides. Uncle Bob had made a small flower garden on one side, for he knew Aunt Sue loved flowers,
One happy, summer day after another sped by, all filled with work and play. Rainy days were now often spent in the haymow of the log barn. Naomi would read out loud to the others while the rain drummed pleasantly on the roof overhead.
It was good to have Aunt Sue living up in the big woods near them. In no time, three pairs of bare feet had worn a twisty path through the woods between their two houses!