Geraldine, Delphine, and Laura were on their way home carrying the last of the beans that they had gathered. The girls only managed to gather six large sized baskets since Laura kept trying to sneak off under a shade tree and constantly complained about how tired she was.
Delphine tried to make up for her sister’s slacking off by challenging Geraldine to a bean pickin’ race. “Are you crazy Delphine, my legs are already getting ate up by chiggers and you want me to go kicking more of them up? Besides you need to slow down. You’re tearing up the plants and there’s still one good harvest left in them before fall.”
Back at the barn they placed the last of the baskets inside and all dropped to the floor to rest. Geraldine lifted her soiled dress to wipe the sticky moisture off of her arms but only proceeded in streaking them with more dirt. “That’s it, everyone to the pond to wash up. Good thing momma did the wash this morning.”
“Delphine, keep your filthy hands off my new dress. Momma made that for church,” yelled Laura with a renewed burst of energy.
“I was just going to help you out since you were just so tired in the field back there.”
Then they both cried, “Geraldine, are we going to have to wait on supper and snap beans before we eat?”
“If you two don’t hurry up and wash your going to find yourselves cooking your own supper too. Anyone want to race now?” Not giving them a chance to answer, Geraldine darted through the trees figuring she could change on the way back. Her legs were long, strong and fast. The two sisters left behind didn’t have a hope of catching up.
Weaving in and out of sassafras, walnut and pine she flew in the water head first. Shoes and all, Geraldine didn’t care. Delphine splashed in beside her next and then came Laura. While scrubbing down they also tried jumping on each other to see if they could be sunk like a log. Poor Laura didn’t have a chance.
It was only after the bath that they decided to strip down to their bloomers before heading back. The sky above pulsated an orange hew as the wind swished and shook the tree tops.
Looking up at the sky, Laura commented, “Looks like only an hour at best before sunset. We best hurry. Besides, I’m starving.”
They hung their wet clothes on the line, grabbed some fresh linen and walked to the porch to set their shoes out to dry overnight. The light inside was on and mosquito sheets hung in the open windows. Delphine’s nose started to twitch. “What’s that smell?”
Then Laura commented, “Smells like Adeline did well.”
Geraldine spoke up next. “Time to find out if’n we’re going hungry tonight or not.” Pushing the door open they scrambled inside.