Every morning there were dishes to clean. Mary cleaned more of them than Laura because she was bigger, but Laura always carefully cleaned her own little cup and plate. When the dishes were all cleaned and put away, they put away the trundle bed.
The trundle bed was a bed in a box. To save space in the little house Laura and Mary shared a trundle bed that was put under the big bed in the day. Standing one on each side, Laura and Mary straightened the covers, tucked them in well at the foot and the sides. They shook and softened up the pillows and put them in place. Then mother pushed the trundle bed into its place under the big bed.
After this was done, mother began the work that belonged to that day. Each day had its own work.
Mother used to say:
"Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday."
Laura liked the churning (butter making) and the baking days best of all the week.
On Saturdays, mother baked, making bread and biscuits, or sometimes even cakes and cookies. When mother made the bread, they each had a little piece of uncooked bread dough to make into a little loaf of bread. They might have a bit of uncooked cookie dough, too, to make little cookies. Once Laura even made a pie in her little pan.
After the day's work was done, mother sometimes cut paper dolls for them. She cut the dolls out of stiff white paper and drew the faces with a pencil. Then from bits of coloured paper she cut dresses and hats, ribbons and laces, so that Laura and Mary could dress their dolls beautifully.
The Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for more than a decade.