Little Isabel and Rainy Days ~ Part 2 Enduring the Storm

Enduring the Storm

Katherine H. Purdy

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Isabel awakened to the pitter-patter of rain on the roof and the delicious sound of bacon sizzling in the skillet on the stove.

“Hey sleepyhead, it’s time to get up!” Eugene sat on the edge of the bed. “Mama said to give you a piggy-back ride to the kitchen because there is water everywhere!”

“Oh boy, I love rrr-rain!” Isabel giggled as they trotted over and around bowls, pitchers, pots and pans collecting water on the floor.

“Mama said we will have to stay in the kitchen all day where it’s nice and warm.” Eugene said as he lowered Isabel down at the kitchen table.

“Good morning, Sunshine!” Mama said as she placed a platter of food on the table.

“Whoo-whee,” Papa said as he entered the back door, dumping water from his hat onto the steps and stood on the rug to wipe his feet. “It’s a great day for ducks and geese,” he said as Mama helped him struggle out of his large, wet coat. “On second thought, it may be too much rain for them too.”

“You’re soaked to the skin,” Mama observed as she handed Papa his slippers. “Maybe you should change and we’ll dry out your clothes by the stove.”

“Oh, I’ll be okay in here by the stove. Besides, I have to go right back outside after breakfast.

“This is a big storm, We have a few tree limbs scattered everywhere and a few saplings have been uprooted. Hope it passes by soon or blows itself out.” Papa shook water out of his hair as he passed Little Isabel’s chair; evoking giggles and wiggles as she tried to dodge the water droplets.

“Mama, can we eat now?” Curtis asked as he popped a piece of bacon into his mouth.

May we eat?” Mama said with a smile.

“That’s what I asked!”

“Not until we are all seated at the table. It’s impolite to eat before everyone is seated and the blessing said,” Mama answered as she poured hot coffee into two cups. Suddenly, lightning flashed across the sky followed by a sickening sound of cracking wood with a loud crash on the roof. “Oh no, the roof!” Mama screamed, turning her focus from the coffee to the window where branch from a falling tree brushed against the window.

Eugene and Curtis jumped from their chairs, turning them over in the process, Baby Maggie started crying and Isabel slid out of her chair and latched onto Mama’s skirt.

“ Hot Coff-coff-Coffee!” Papa shouted as the cup overflowed, splashing on him as he pushed away from the table, his chair slipped, dumping him onto the floor.

“Oh dear!” Mama rushed to help Papa with the coffee pot still in her hands and Eugene rushed to take it from her.

Papa shook his head and headed first to the window and then to the back door. He returned with a small branch in his hands. “I can’t believe it. The tree landed on the back porch roof and not the house; crashed right through.” Papa slowly shook head and took his place at the table and lead the family in prayer.

As Papa prayed, Isabel heard a soft cry. She opened one eye and looked around and caught Mama looking her and so she squeezed her eyes tight until Papa said, “Lord, thank you for keeping us safe and for sparing the roof to this house. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.”

“Not until we are all seated at the table. It’s impolite to eat before everyone is seated and the blessing said,” Mama answered as she poured hot coffee into two cups. Suddenly, lightning flashed across the sky followed by a sickening sound of cracking wood with a loud crash on the roof. “Oh no, the roof!” Mama screamed, turning her focus from the coffee to the window where branch from a falling tree brushed against the window.

~*~

Blessing said, tears dried, coffee cleaned up and refilled; the Greene family finally got down to business of eating when two squeaky sounds made their way to the kitchen table.

“What’s that?”

“It’s probably just limbs scraping against the house,” Papa said as he poured coffee from his cup into his saucer and sipped the hot, strong liquid.

“Maybe it’s a mouse,” Curtis said as he reached for another piece of bacon,

“Or a big fat rat with beady eyes and a long skinny tail,” Eugene said while making a scary face at Isabel.”

“A mouse? A rat? Isabel screeched as she stood on the kitchen chair. “Papa, it’s not a rat is it?”

“Oh, I don’t think so. At least not yet. There’s an opening now for mice to get in through that big hole in the porch roof.”

“Oh Avil,” Mama said as she wiped Maggie’s face with a wash cloth. “Don’t frighten the child. The storm is frightening enough.

Almost as if on cue, a loud meow echoed in the room. Isabel slid out of her chair and raced her brothers to the back porch. “Kittens!” Curtis said as he watched three kittens huddled between the tree branches lying on the porch.

“Four kittens and one Mama,” Eugene said as a gray tabby carried a kitten in her mouth and deposited it with the other three, shook water off her head and began to groom the tiny kittens.

“Well, will you look at that? Mama cat knows to bring her babies in from the rain,” Papa chuckled.

“Of course she does,” Mama said gently, “she’s a mother. Oh the poor dears are soaking wet and Mama cat must be so cold and wet. She had to bring each kitten in from the cold wind and rain. Eugene, please bring me the empty crate from the pantry. Curtis, please bring a towel and also bring some large flannel rags.”

Mama made a soft bed for Mama cat and her kittens and placed the bed by the warm stove. “We mustn’t disturb the kittens. I don’t anyone to pick them up. Not yet. Mama cat will give them everything they need and we will feed Mama cat a nice bowl of cream.”

Isabel put her hands behind her back to keep from picking up the tiny, crying kittens.

“Mama, did Jesus send us kittens because of the storm?”

Miss Madison10441101_10203141061280662_7210698404753137386_n

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