Sod and Stubble: The Story of a Kansas Homestead

By John Ise | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
The Prairie Smiles Once More

LENGTHENING days of warmth and sunshine followed each other, and in a short time the brown and gray of winter gave way to the brilliant light-green of early spring, on the prairie and wheat fields, and along the roads. Tiny green leaves appeared on the hardy little cottonwoods that Henry and Rosie had planted the year before. This was a happy surprise. The trees had been stripped bare by the grasshoppers, and it had seemed doubtful if they would recover and flourish again; but the kindly spring sun and rain soon brought out crowns of shiny leaves that flashed green in the sun, and rustled in friendly companionship when the winds blew in from the south.

Early in June, Mary Bartsch helped usher the baby into the world, a little girl this time. It was an awkward time to be in bed, and Rosie was soon at work again, hoeing in the garden. There was no one else to do it, and in the warm spring weather the call to gardening was irresistible.

The days of summer came and went, with the sun and heat and rains, rains that came whenever the winds threatened the growing crops. The wheat crop that Rosie helped to harvest early in July was one to be talked of for years afterward -- forty bushels per acre, altogether two hundred bushels from Henry's five-acre field. Fifty bushels were enough for the year's bread and for seed, so there were one hundred and fifty bushels which could be hauled to Russell and sold.

The day after the harvesting was done, Henry and Rosie drove to Cawker City to celebrate the Fourth of July, taking their month-old baby for her first ride in the wagon. Everybody was there; and it seemed good to see the crowds of

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