After the snow had melted and gone, spring came. Birds sang in the hazel bushes along the crooked wooden fence. New leaves were growing on the hazel bushes. The grass grew green again and the forest was full of wild flowers. Buttercups and violets, thimble flowers and tiny starry grass flowers were growing everywhere.
As soon as the days were warm, Laura and Mary asked their mother to be allowed to run barefoot, without shoes. At first they might only run out around the woodpile and back, in their bare feet. Next day they could run farther and soon their shoes were oiled and put away and they ran barefoot all day long.
Every night they had to wash their feet before they went to bed. Under the hems, or edges, of their skirts, their ankles and their feet were as brown as their faces.
Laura and Mary had playhouses under the two big oak trees in front of the house. Mary's playhouse was under Mary's tree and Laura's playhouse was under Laura's tree. The soft grass made a green carpet for them. The green leaves were the roofs and through them they could see bits of the blue sky.
Her father had made a swing out of wood and hung it on a large, low branch of Laura's tree. It was her swing because it was in her tree, but she had to be unselfish and let Mary swing in it whenever she wanted.
Mary had a cracked saucer (small plate) to play with and Laura had a beautiful cup with only one big piece broken out of it. Their dolls were named Charlotte and Nettie. The two little wooden men her father had made lived in the playhouse with the dolls. Every day they made fresh leaf hats for Charlotte and Nettie. They made little leaf cups and saucers to set on their table. The table was a nice, smooth rock.