Picking Apples

The Williams House; Chapter 2: The Start of School; Pgs. 35-37

.     Meanwhile, Susan and Maria had been sent out to pick some honeysuckle apples from their orchards. They first had gone into a barn to pick up two metal pronged rakes. The barn was a huge structure with several floors and a couple rickety ladders that led up to them. But only Will, Ann, and Lilly were allowed to go up there, and that was only when a parent was with them.
.     Then Susan led Maria out of the barn and down the path that led around the side of the house to the orchard, which soon spread into full view. Sunlight was spilling down the branches and resting in several patches on the ground. The dew was thick, and both girls’ feet were already soaked.
.     “Are these the apples?” asked Maria.
.     “Yes,” said Susan, “but we have to be careful which ones you pick. Hold up the rake, like this.” She demonstrated how and showed Maria how to rake lightly enough to let the ripe apples fall while still leaving the immature apples on the trees.
.     Before long, apples were raining down all around the girls’ heads, and they were both laughing heartily as they ran through the trees and picked up their prizes.
.     “I have 16,” Susan announced.
.     “How many do I have?” asked Maria, who, being four years old, was still uncertain of her numbers. She trotted over to where Susan was, barely able to lug the bucket she was carrying along with her.
.     “You have nine,” said Susan, who had learned to count that very summer (Margaret had taught her). “That should be enough for today. Let’s carry these back inside.”
.     They both hauled their buckets down the path to the back door. The sun was climbing higher in the sky, and the night air was finally replaced by the morning warmth. The path they both walked on was paved with brick, and both their shoes trotted over it and left wet footprints behind.

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