Once Aunt Lotty came to spend the day. That morning Laura had to stand still a long time while her mother unwound her hair from the cloth strings and combed it into long curls. (Chapter 9 Part 3: How to Curl Your Hair and Get Ready to Go to Town) Mary was all ready, sitting primly (properly) on a chair, with her golden curls shining and her china-blue dress fresh and crisp.
Laura liked her own red dress. But her mother pulled her hair dreadfully, and it was brown instead of golden, so that no one noticed it. Everyone noticed and admired Mary's hair.
"There!" her mother said at last. "Your hair is curled beautifully, and Lotty is coming. Run to meet her, both of you, and ask her which she likes best, brown curls or golden curls."
Laura and Mary ran out of the door and down the path, for Aunt Lotty was already at the gate. Aunt Lotty was a big girl, much bigger than Mary. Her dress was a beautiful pink and she was swinging a pink sunbonnet by one string.
"Which do you like best, Aunt Lotty," Mary asked, "brown curls, or golden curls?" her mother had told them to ask that, and Mary was a very good little girl who always did exactly as she was told.
Laura waited to hear what Aunt Lotty would say, and she felt miserable. Everyone admired Mary's golden curls. But they did not say anything about Laura, or about her curls. They were ugly and brown; Laura did not think that it was fair that people thought golden hair was prettier.
"I like both kinds best," Aunt Lotty said, smiling. (Aunt Lotty was not stupid!) She took Laura and Mary by the hand, one on either side, and they danced along to the door where her mother stood.