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Hiding Ma's Shoes
By
chippihc

Hiding Ma's Shoes

Ma declares a play day afternoon

A fictional day on a ranch before electricity and when you had to find your own entertainment when time allowed.

Sissy was fourteen and a force to be reckoned with. She was the oldest girl on the ranch, but not known for being the busiest. Truth be told, she drove her Ma nuts. Sissy and her siblings did not pay much attention to what year it was, as they lived in a time before electricity was in their parts and maybe even invented. Most days were full of work and some nights included times for sleeping. Pa worked powerful hard and the family always had something to eat. Ma never talked of wanting anything, she just praised the Lord for what she had. Sissy had four younger siblings. John was twelve and known for being Pa's shadow and right-hand man. Tess was ten and she knew all there was to know about it. Annie was eight and was known for being lost in her own mind. Sammy was six and he was known as Ma's right-hand man.

One warm summer day, while Pa was away on a long trip to pick up supplies with another neighbor friend, Ma made an announcement. She was declaring an afternoon play day if all the chores could be done in time. Play days were rare and the kids were intrigued by what kind of play was going to be allowed. Sissy was still in trouble with Ma for having her own game yesterday with Tess' hair. It had been quite clever actually, as Tess was facing away from Sissy as she braided her hair behind her and there was no way she could see there were green thorn sticks tightly braided into her strands of blond hair. That is until she felt a prick now and then during the day on the back of her neck and back. Finally, around supper time she reached back long enough with her hand to get cut by a thorn and discover her predicament. John thought it was pretty funny, but Sammy sided with Ma as always and said he would never trust Sissy with his hair. Sissy had to apologize and was told that when her Pa got back she would have to explain how funny it was to him.

Well, that little story aside, Ma had declared an afternoon play day. The problem was she did not really have more of a plan than to tell the kids to go play after lunch. Sissy immediately recognized that Ma had not declared a play day, she was trying to declare a holiday for herself. Sissy was still feeling mischievous as usual and game ideas were already forming in her head. "Come on Ma, you need to play too! I know a good game to start this play day off right!" Sissy said excitedly. So she lead the way declaring for everyone to meet up in the barn. Tess was last to arrive already a little suspicious of what Sissy might have planned.

"All right, I have a new game. It's like hide and seek, except instead of hiding you have to do more seeking. Take off your shoes!" she ordered. Her siblings were happy to play this new game and were not really thinking through the consequences yet, Ma, on the other hand, was a little less excited but decided to let things continue. Once Sissy had all their shoes, she told them they had to hide their eyes and wait in the middle of the barn until she could hide their shoes for them to search the barn or close outside the barn and find them. She said Ma needed to do her best to make sure no one cheated until she got back. With that, off Sissy went with their shoes. It felt like a long time and it probably was before she finished.

She said, "now this is a race, when you find your shoes run back here where I will be waiting. The last one back with their shoes will be "It" for the next game.

"I like being barefoot anyway!" declared Sammy as he headed out in search of his shoes.

Ma looked back at Sissy and said, "My shoes better not be too hard to find."

With that Sissy replied, "ah come on Ma, you're the one who declared the play afternoon - play and enjoy it!"

What seemed a very long time later, all the kids were back with Sissy in the middle of the barn with their shoes on except Ma. Sammy was tired of waiting and said he was going to go help her and wanted a hint where to find them. Sissy was also tired of waiting and said she would whisper it in his ear. With the secret told Sammy rushed to rescue his Ma. Returning a few minutes later with his Ma and her shoes Sammy was excited about the next game. Ma looked hard at Sissy, "Young Lady, you hid my shoes in the horses bedding!"

"Yes, I did Ma. Now you are It since you were the last one back.  What's that game you said you used to play with your sisters in England?"

 

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