War

When Sally was a little girl, her mama Opal sent her up to play at her sister Ruby’s house.  Sally was a handful, and Aint Ruby liked to play jokes.  Opal should have known something would happen.

Aint Ruby had raised a whole bunch o’younguns herself and didn’t aim to put up with any more.  When Sally came up the road, Ruby told the two girls who were still at home to go outside and hide.  After five minutes, they were supposed to start throwing mud clods onto the roof of the house.

Sally went in and said hey to everybody, found Aint Ruby’s hard candies and started pestering her for a co-cola.  She started messing with stuff – you know how little girls do.  It aggravated Aint Ruby, but she just waited.  Then the mud clods started banging on the roof.

“OH!  Sally!  It’s the Russians!  Hide under the bed!” screamed Aint Ruby.  “Quick!”

Sally scooted under the bed quick as a wink and stayed there, quiet as a mouse and shaking like a leaf.  She didn’t quite know who the Russians were, but she knew they meant bombs and that tin roof was clattering.  Sally started to cry into the skirt of her dress so the Russians wouldn’t hear.

After what seemed like hours, it got quiet.  Aint Ruby stuck her face up under the bed.  “It’s over,” she said.  “We made it.  You can come out now.”

Sally came out, all right.  She zipped out from under that bed and ran out the front door, all the way back home where her mama was getting dinner ready.  It didn’t take long for Opal to hear about the Russians and to figure out what had happened.  Next thing anybody knew, she had whipped off her apron and was marching up the road to her sister’s house.  What happened next remains a mystery, but Sally stayed away from Aint Ruby for a long time, and Aint Ruby stayed away from Opal.

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