The Day The Balloon Came To Town


For once in their lives Mother was shocked into speechlessness and Mammy into frozen immobility. Mammy’s feet were set far apart, she was stretched to her full five feet in height with the scantling held by both hands high above her head, and she literally seethed with anger and astonishment; even the fringes of the perpetual kerchief on her fine little head seemed to stand out and quiver in rage. This was a sight to sober even the pilot, who, seeing his chance, quickly rolled away from the chicken house, jumped to his feet, and bolted with a speed and precision that put his wonderful balloon to shame. Mother recovered her speech and, seeing that Mammy was set to haul off in hot pursuit of the pilot, touched her on the arm and said, “Mammy, let him go.” Then they turned and looked at the three ragged, dirty little Falkner boys. Mammy dropped the scantling, turned to Mother, and said, “Miss Maud, what we gwine to do wid dem boys?” We knew the answer to that one, yes indeed we knew.