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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Story

Inside the lid of a trunk is a story.

The war had passed a couple of months ago. At least that's what Ma told us. Nobody fought anymore. That's what Grandpa told us. The slaves were free now. That's what the poster on the painted wall at the Post Office told us. 

We were supposed to be in what those posters called "An Economic Rise!"

"Why am I so hungry Momma?"

"Shh! Little one!" My momma crooned, rubbing my back with her calloused hand, worn scrawny and almost to the bone from too much scrubbing and hard work.

"Your Daddy'll be back soon." She promised for the hundredth time.

I could only hope.

We had been without food now for ten days. Momma and I, (I was the oldest of three you see,) had let the hard bits of biscuit softened in water go to the young 'uns. The two babies were barely alive and we had patiently scooped a tiny bit of the gruel onto our fingertips and hand fed them. Momma couldn't feed them her milk anymore. Not enough food herself, I guessed.

The bits of vegetables we could scrounge from the nearby woods had run out and we couldn't walk farther and get back before dark. How I hated potatoes! 

How I would adore a potato!  Just thinking about the sweet orange flesh made my stomach growl alarmingly. Momma started to sing. 

"Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home" Her voice carried throughout our house. It comforted me. Bouncing off the bare floors and curtain less windows.  We'd had to sell most of our furniture for food.

"Swing low, sweet chariot, comin' for to carry me home." Her words trailed off and opening my eyes, I searched her face. Oh! What if my momma went away like grandma had? I couldn't bear the thought! She was holding her breath.

"I hear something!" She whispered. Out the door we ran!

Daddy had come back!

I don't know if the uniform is correct or that's where this trunk came from, but this is what I congured up in my head the instant I saw this. 

Please feel free to create your story own and add in the comment section.  Where do you think this illustration is from and what is your version of it's story?

I can hardly wait to see what you send me!


crochet lady said...

I love old trunks. I have never seen one with a picture in like that. Your story was great!

I'm thinking of a father son reunion and what better time than harvest time when you are safely bringing in the grain for storage to also safely have your son home.

Kathy said...

It's Harvest time and the sons return could not be more welcome.I'll bet , after a hearty meal the returned soldier was out in the field before nightfall...lending a hand bringing in the sheaves...Welcome Home...
Beautiful old truck, xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Eva Gallant said...

What a beautiful old trunk. They look well-dressed, actually, so I don't think they would have been starving...but it made a good story/

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Lucy
Fabulous story.. what an imagination!! Well I left my new IMAC in it's box for 6 moths before I even opened it.. [strange I know.. was just too busy working 80hrs a week arrgg] anyway... since then i have take to calling my MAC - 'MAC in the box!!' haha.. this must be it's older relative!! hehe

Thanks for your lovely Australia Day wishes over my way... I love the cockatoos.. a little crazy and they truly cause havoc but they have so much character!! Take care xx Julie

Prerna said...

awesome father son son father storyy...a long way to go!

Anonymous said...

Lovely old trunk!!
Have a Wonderful Day!

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

What a lovely story! And I really want that trunk, what a fascinating picture in the lid!

ethelmaepotter! said...

I love old trunks and often conjure up my own stories about them. Your trunk painting, I believe, was probably an advertisement for McCormick threshers; see the prominent printing in the background? The uniform is that of the Union (Yankee,) which explains why the little girl is dressed in such finery, as little Southern girls would have most likely been in rags by the end of the war. He also carries a mail bag, which seems to indicate he was entrusted to deliver mail along his route home.

ethelmaepotter! said...

And that peacock clock on the wall has got to be one of the most hideous things Ive ever seen in my life.