By Betty MacDonald

Relates the thrill and frustrations of existence on a bird farm within the mountains of Washington.

summary: Relates the thrill and frustrations of existence on a fowl farm within the mountains of Washington

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That little tiny child has turned around so he won’t have to look at those wreathy writhy snakes. But he is the most famous tightrope walker in the whole world and he is going to walk that dangerous tightrope, or you won’t get your twenty-five cents,” she hissed sotto voce at Cleve. Cleve looked at the twenty-five cents and then at the two-by-four and finally stood up and started across. His fat little legs wobbled and when he tried to get his balance his arms went around like windmills and at the exact center, and just as Mother came home, he fell and landed on his back on the cellar stairs.

It was late on a rainy Friday afternoon when a neighbor brought the telegram but I checked the bus schedule, dressed the children and myself in our “town clothes,” stuffed my silver fish fork, my graduation ring and a few other things into a suitcase, wrote a note to my husband, and leading three-year-old Anne by the hand and carrying year-and-a-half-old Joan and the suitcase, set off across the burn toward the six o’clock bus to Seattle. It was not an easy walk. The road, following the course of an ancient river bed, meandered around through the sopping brush, coiled itself around huge puddles and never ever took the shortest distance between two points.

Then Mary entered and won an elocution contest. “Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel room, Barrel-house kings, with feet unstable Sagged and reeled and pounded on the table . . ” she shouted as she sagged and reeled around the kitchen, pounding on the table so hard her fist stuck to the oilcloth. ” she roared. Then suddenly half-crouching, with eyes like slits, she reached behind her and got her right arm and thrust it directly at us, the stiff index finger appearing suddenly at the end like a knife blade on a cane.

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