Chapter 8 Dance at Grandmother & Grandfather's House
Part 1 - Going to Grandmother and Grandfather's House
Early Monday morning everybody got up early, in a hurry to go to Grandfather's house. Laura's father wanted to be there to help with the work of gathering and boiling the maple tree sap. (Sap is like the blood of a tree and sap from the maple tree is used to make sweet maple syrup.) Her mother would help Grandmother and her aunts make good things to eat for all the people who were coming to the dance.
Breakfast was eaten and the dishes washed and the beds made by lamplight. Laura's father packed his fiddle carefully in its box and put it in the big sledge that was already waiting at the gate. A fiddle looks like a violin.
The air was cold and the sunlight was not bright, when Laura and Mary and her mother with Baby Carrie were tucked in snug and warm under the robes on the straw, or dried grass, in the bottom of the sledge. The horses shook their heads and danced, making the sledge bells ring merrily and away they went on the road through the forest to Grandfather's house.
The snow was wet and smooth in the road, so the sledge slipped quickly over it and the big trees seemed to be hurrying by on either side. After a while there was sunshine in the forest and the air sparkled. The yellow sunlight lay between the shadows of the tree trunks. The snow was coloured faintly pink in the light of the sunrise. All the shadows were thin and blue and every little curve of snowdrift and every little track in the snow had a shadow.
Laura's father showed her the tracks or footprints of the wild animals in the snow at the side of the road. He saw the small, leaping tracks of cottontail rabbits, the tiny tracks of field mice and the stitching-like tracks of snowbirds. There were larger tracks, like dogs' tracks, where foxes had run and there were the tracks of a deer that had run away into the forest.
The air was growing warmer already and her father said that the snow wouldn't last long.
It did not seem long until they were coming out of the forest and into the clearing at Grandfather's house. All the sledge bells were jingling. Grandmother came to the door and stood there smiling, calling to them to come in.