In honor of all who are affected by Hurricane Matthew this weekend, I thought this story might be appropriate. Praying that everyone is safe and dry!
Little Isabel and the Leaky Roof
Katherine H. Purdy
Little Isabel awakened to the sound of snoring in the next room and sat up to listen. Snore, snore, whistle, choke and snore, snore some more.
“Isn’t Papa silly?” Isabel whispered into her doll’s ear and then clasped the doll close, rolled over on her tummy and slid off the edge of the bed until her toes reached the floor.
“Wasn’t that fun, Dolly?” She nodded the dolls head in the affirmative. Just as she stepped forward, a drop of water pelted her head. It was then Isabel realized she was standing in a puddle of water. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew rain through the open window as lightning flashed across the sky. The loud clap of thunder sent her running barefoot past the curtain dividing her room from her brothers; into the hallway on the hard wood floor, through the doorway to her parents’ bedroom and jumped onto the fluffy rug at Mama’s bedside.
“Mama, you awake?” Isabel patted the hand on Mama’s pillow and decided to check closer. She stood on her tip-toes and fluttered her eyelashes against Mama’s cheeks without a response. Finally, Isabel placed her forehead against her mother’s and whispered loud enough to be heard. “Mama, are you awake?”
“When someone’s eyes are closed Dear, they are either asleep or praying,” Mama said softly.
“Are your eyes closed Mama?”
“Yes dear and yours should be too.”
“Are you asleep or praying?”
“I was asleep and now I’m praying,” Mama said with a hint of humor in her voice.
“It’s waining in my woom.”
“We have talked about this before, Honey.” Mama said mid-yawn, “Pucker your lips as if you are blowing a kiss. Now say; “rrrrrrrrr”.
“Isabel puckered her lips and slowly repeated the words. “ Rrrrrrrr. Mama, it’s ‘r-r-raining in my room!”
“Very good, Isabel.” Mama murmured sleepily and then suddenly sat up and raised the wick on the oil lamp beside the bed.
“It’s what?” Mama queried just as lightening flashed and a clap of thunder shook the house.
“Oh dear,” Mama said, “We need to close the windows. Climb into our bed, child or you’ll catch a cold!”
“Yes, Mama,” Isabel said and ran to the foot of the bed, climbed on the blanket trunk, onto the foot of the bed and crawled in-between her parents; snuggling close Mama. “Can we still have our tea party when Sally Anne comes over to play today?”
“If everything is nice and dry and Mrs. Albright brings Sally Anne over, we may have a simple tea party! Now go to sleep while I close the windows before the paint on the walls are ruined.”
“It wai – I mean rained on my head too,” Isabel said as she snuggled under the white sheet and the log cabin quilt.
Just then, the room once more shook with the sound of thunder and Papa’s snoring stopped mid whistle. His feet immediately hit the floor and strode near the window. His toe came into contact with the baby cradle, causing him to yelp loudly as he danced around the floor while grasping the throbbing toe and landing back on the bed causing little Isabel to bounce.
Isabel stood on the bed and clapped, “Papa’s funny. Do it again Papa, Do it again!
Mama reached for Isabel, pulling her back down under the covers and then leaped out of the bed to rescue baby Maggie who joined Papa’s howling.
“Shhh, it’s okay baby; it’s okay.” Mama cooed and then turned to Papa.
“We need to check the rooms and close the windows. Isabel said it is raining in her room. I hope the roof isn’t leaking,” Mama said as she covered the baby with a pink blanket and rocked the cradle gently.
“I’ll close the windows and you get something to catch the water.” Papa said as he searched for a missing slipper. “I’ll be glad when our house on the Meadows farm is ready so we can get out of this shack with all its leaks and creaks. I feel as if we are being robbed every time I pay the rent. Rain will be good for the crops though.”
Mama nodded as she reached for the large bowl holding a water pitcher and placed it strategically under a drip just to the right of the bed before following Papa into the hallway. Moments later, Eugene and Curtis entered the room carrying a quilt and a pillow; bedding down on the floor close to their parents bed.
“We get to camp out just like cowboys!” Curtis said as he shook water out of his blond hair.
“Or like soldiers,” Eugene commented. “Just like Papa’s uncles who fought in the war.”
“There won’t be any ‘camping’ tonight- just sleep,” Mama said as she placed a large bowl under another drip. “Papa must get up early so I want you to go back to sleep as quickly as Jim’s old hound dog.” Mama smiled and Isabel giggled at the thought of the sweet old dog that constantly slept on her half-brother Jim’s front porch.”
“That dog won’t hunt!” Eugene lowered his voice to imitate Jim.
“Precisely. Now go to sleep.”