Sunday, February 03, 2008
On the Banks of Plum Creek
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. 1937. On the Banks of Plum Creek.
The dim wagon track went no farther on the prairie, and Pa stopped the horses. When the wagon wheels stopped turning, Jack dropped down in the shade between them. His belly sank on the grass and his front legs stretched out. His nose fitted in the furry hollow. All of him rested, except his ears.
On The Bank of Plum Creek opens when the Ingalls family arrives at their new home. They have bought a place, and their first new "home" is a dugout. They are buying it from a Norwegian man, Mr. Hanson, who is moving further west I presume. This is just temporary. Charles (or "Pa" as he's referred to so often it's hard not to join in) has promised to build them a real house, a real home just as soon as he can. The book opens with promises and hopes and dreams. But most of the book will see those hopes and dreams delayed. What Pa needs--what they all need--are good crops, good wheat crops. What Pa gets is grasshoppers. The Ingalls family does struggle a bit in On The Banks of Plum Creek. But they do settle in and get comfortable. Mary and Laura, for instance, start school. It is the first time for them to ever attend school. And they do meet up with some town folks like Nellie Oleson.
Overall, this is a more than enjoyable read. Some of my favorite chapters are "Nellie Oleson," "Town Party," "Country Party," "Going to Church," and "Surprise."
It is 339 pages.