Susanna's Song

Girl Power!

Looking out over the prairie, Susanna fingered her white dress nervously. The thunder storm was quickly getting too close: distant flashes and long kettledrum rolls had changed to sharp cracks. She would get her best dress soaked and her hair drenched up by the time she got to the Kenton place.

The family had left for the meeting over at the Kenton place about an hour earlier, but Susanna had wanted to take the extra time to look especially good when she saw Kenny Kenton. Susanna’s mom looked at her and said: “Not if I have anything to say about it. Come along.”

Susanna let that phrase bounce in her head: “Not if I have anything to say about it.” Then she thought: “Well, OK, think of something to say about it.”

Susanna said: “We won’t get back till late, and the chores that we miss now will just be extra work for you when you get back. You can go ahead, I’ll do the chores on time, and get myself ready.”

Susanna’s dad said “Smart thinking’, Susanna. Make sure you give the medicine to Lucky when the vet said. — Ma, you done right good with this one.”

So, an hour and a half later, facing the oncoming thunderstorm, Susanna was thinking: “I’ll get soaked. I’ll look terrible…”

"Not if I have anything to say about it" her mom’s voice echoing in her head. At that she struck out in a trot toward the Indian rocks only a couple of miles away. When she got there, she had thistles all over her socks and dress. But the rocks did offer up a dry space for Susanna to sit out the storm.

Susanna waited. The storm was a real soaker with drops as big as the end of your thumb but she was dry and safe, smelling the air as it changed from dust to clean and then to lightning sweet.

She started picking the thistles out and thought. “Even if I get all these out, I still have to join the road a bit farther on to cross the bridge. That means through more stickyberries to get to the gathering at the Kenton place. I’ll get there and look a sight. Darn Thistles”.

The storm passed and moved on as storms do, Susanna struck out for the road muttering to herself about how much fun she would miss out on. “I’ll be the ugly duckling for sure,” she said as she looked over to the stream.

“Not if I have anything to say about it. – I know where there is a dinghy tied up there, and I would shave 20 minutes off my time.”

Susanna struck out for the stream and got there only to find the stream swollen from the storm. The dinghy was tied to a small tree by the bank, but the oarlocks were gone. Susanna plopped down and surveyed the sad situation. “I can’t paddle through this current with no oarlocks. I’m sunk.” She looked at her white dress. “I could take my dress off, and put it in the boat along with the present I made for Kenny and swim across, but I can’t tow a dinghy thru this current. I’ll have to go the long way around to get to the bridge. I’ll get there late and I’ll look a fright.”

As she looked at the little boat, she noticed the stream receding a bit.

“Not if I have anything to say about it.” She got up and looked up and down the stream bank. She found a fallen tree branch, waited until the stream slowed, and used the branch to pole the dinghy across. Tying the dinghy on the other side, she made it over the hill by the Kenton’s place just to see Jenny coming down the walkway with a bright yellow dress.”

“Oh, rats, Jenny’s dress looks so much nicer than mine. What a horrid time I’ll have.”

Then Susanna remembered the fields of wildflowers she had just passed.

“Not if I have anything to say about it.” She ran back to the bright flowers, and taking the ribbon off of the present, she made a plait of flowers, just like thehaku leisshe had seen in a magazine”

Walking down the hill by the Kenton place, Susanna’s hair and dress blew softly in the breeze. Jenny looked out the window. Their eyes met: Jenny thought “Back off, girl, Kenny is mine!”

Susanna gazed back, smiled, and sang to herself, “Not if I have anything to say about it.”

The only thing we might know for sure, is that Kenny will likely have little to say about it.

that's all--