The attic was a lovely place to play. The large, round, coloured pumpkins made beautiful chairs and tables. The red peppers and the onions dangled overhead. The hams and the venison hung in their paper wrappings, and all the bunches of dried herbs, the spicy herbs for cooking and the bitter herbs for medicine, gave the place a dusty-spicy smell.
Often the wind howled outside with a cold and lonesome sound. But in the attic Laura and Mary played house with the squashes and the pumpkins, and everything was snug and cosy.
Mary was bigger than Laura, and she had a rag doll named Nettie. Laura only had a corncob (the part of a corn plant, on which the yellow seeds grow) wrapped in a handkerchief, but it was a good doll. It was named Susan. It wasn't Susan's fault that she was only a corncob. Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she did it only when Susan couldn't see. (In early America people were much poorer than they are today. Not every girl could have a real doll.)