Chapter 8 Dance at Grandmother & Grandfather's House
Part 8: Grandmother is the Best Dancer
"I can't leave the syrup," she said.
But her father began to play "The Arkansas Traveller," and everybody began to clap in time to the music. So Grandmother bowed to them all and did a few steps by herself. She could dance as prettily as any of them. The clapping almost drowned the music of her father's fiddle.
Suddenly Uncle George jumped up and clicked his heels together. Then bowed low before Grandmother; he began to dance. Grandmother tossed her spoon to somebody. She put her hands on her hips and faced Uncle George. Everybody shouted and Grandmother was dancing.
Laura clapped her hands in time to the music, with all the other clapping hands. The fiddle sang as it had never sung before. Grandmother's eyes were snapping and her cheeks were red. Underneath her skirts her heels were clicking as fast as the thumping of Uncle George's boots.
Everybody was excited. Uncle George kept on dancing and Grandmother kept on facing him, dancing too. The fiddle did not stop. Uncle George began to breathe loudly as he wiped sweat off his forehead. Grandmother's eyes twinkled.
Uncle George danced faster. He danced twice as fast as he had been dancing. So did Grandmother. Everybody cheered. All the women were laughing and clapping their hands. All the men were teasing George. George did not care, but he did not have breath enough to laugh. He was dancing.
Her father's blue eyes were snapping and sparking. He was standing up, watching George and Grandmother. The bow danced over the fiddle strings. Laura jumped up and down, squealed and clapped her hands.
Grandmother kept on dancing. Her hands were on her hips and her chin was up and she was smiling. George kept on dancing, but his boots did not thump as loudly as they had thumped at first. Grandmother's heels kept on clickety-clacking gaily. A drop of sweat dripped off George's forehead and shone on his cheek.
All at once he threw up both arms and gasped, "I'm beat!" He stopped dancing.
Everyone made a terrific noise, shouting and yelling and stamping, cheering Grandmother. Grandmother danced just a little minute more and then she stopped. She laughed in gasps. Her eyes sparkled just like father's eyes when he laughed. George was laughing, too and wiping his forehead on his sleeve.
Suddenly Grandmother stopped laughing. She turned and ran as fast as she could into the kitchen. The fiddle had stopped playing. All the women were talking at once and all the men teasing George.