The Morning Side chapter 2

The Morning Side of the Mountain
began in this blog.
You might want to read
the very short intro.

Chapter 2
…he had freckles on the top of his ears.

The days passed quickly for Jessie. She sat close to the front in the classroom. She was small and the teacher did not think she could see over the others. Because she was not quite the age that her dress said she was, she didn’t pay much attention. Reading and writing were not easy and actually all she really wanted to do was play and maybe be the teachers helper. She turned the pages in her work book so the teacher could not see that she wasn’t finished for the day. Sitting in the front row made it very hard so she peaked over her shoulder and let a braid cover one of her eyes. Recess called and she did not want the teacher to notice she was being sneaky before she rushed out the door. She did feel guilty about this but she was learning the ways of the world and guilt didn’t bother her as much as it used to.

Her braids were always bound with a rubber band. Her mother knew that a ribbon tied on the hair would be gone before she got to school. There were trees to be climbed and boys to be pushed.

And her best friend was the boy with the freckles. Frog was his name. “Really,” she told her mother “his name is frog. His dad just started calling him that and they decided that it was an okay name and so he got to keep it!”

Frog’s head sat low on his shoulders and it looked as though his ears were holding his head in place. He had a myopic look around his eyes and squinted to see those things that were important to him. His mouth had a way of turning down at the corners when he was thinking. Freckles covered every part of his body that was visible even the tops of his ears.

Frog and Jessie played on the playground at recess. Monkey bars and teeter totters were their favorites. He would run with the boys sometimes and his cussing got him in trouble lots. Jessie had tried to get him to quit but he just didn’t seem to be able to help it. When the boys bothered him or called him a name, he would wait for them on the way home. The only thing he could do better than cussing was fighting. No day was complete without a little fight. But when the boys were through scuffling around they would throw an arm across each others shoulders and walk the rest of the way home together. Jessie would generally tag along until she came to her house.

Frog’s dad worked for the highway people paving and throwing gravel on the road when it was slick. He also loved to play cards at the local card playing place. Frog would often have to go get him for supper like his mom told him to. “Comeon dad, Mom says dinner is gittin ready.” “Just a minute Frog,” his dad would say. A couple of hours later his dad would wander in to a cold dinner and a cold shoulder. Frog didn’t like those nights and he would sneak out and run to Jessie house for a visit over the back fence or at her bedroom window. “Heck fire,” he would complain, “my dad is sure makin my mom mad. I ain’t never going to do that when I grow up. Well least not as much as he does.” Jessie would just listen. She really didn’t understand how it would be but she didn’t want Frog to be sad. Before long she would make him go home. Tired from the day such a little girl needed her rest.

As sleep came she thought “That Frog…he’s going to get in big trouble someday. Standing up for himself will get him in big trouble!”

b

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