Chapter 8 Dance at Grandmother & Grandfather's House
Part 6: Competition - The Babies on the Bed
People begun to come. They were coming on foot through the snowy forest, with their lanterns. They were driving up to the door pulled by horses in sledges and in wagons. Sledge bells were jingling all the time.
The younger women were in one room trying to make themselves look pretty. They are normally pretty all the time. This was a different sort of pretty; it was like a competition between themselves to see who is the prettiest. Laura sat on the bed and watched them comb out their long hair and part it carefully and braid it and then do the braids up carefully in big knots.
They helped each other with their corsets. Aunt Docia pulled as hard as she could on Aunt Ruby's corset strings and then Aunt Docia hung on to the foot of the bed while Aunt Ruby pulled on hers. It looked very uncomfortable.
Aunt Docia's dress was a sprigged print, dark blue, with sprigs of red flowers and green leaves thick upon it. Aunt Ruby's dress had a bright wine-coloured pattern, covered all over with a feathery pattern in lighter wine colour. It was buttoned with gold-coloured buttons and every button had a little castle and a tree on it.
BABIES IN ROWS ON GRANDMOTHER'S BED
The big room filled with tall boots and moving skirts and ever so many babies were lying in rows on Grandmother's bed. Uncle James and Aunt Libby had come with their little girl, whose name was Laura Ingalls, too. The two Lauras leaned on the bed and looked at the babies and the other Laura said their baby was prettier than Baby Carrie.