Plover: 5


When last we’d been to church, Mary and Alex Randall had invited everyone who lived nearby to come to a barn raising. What we arrived to that hot day was not a barn raising. I suppose that when you live on a prairie and you live farther from the people you’re going to help, “a barn raising in two weeks’ time” can turn into something else entirely.

Those who had farms adjacent to the Randalls’ were already aware of the change. They had brought things like quilts, jerked beef, dried herbs used for healing, and similar items that were all being packed into a wagon in front of Alex and Mary’s house.

“Jenny!” Claire exclaimed, jumping down from the wagon seat the second Da stopped in the barnyard, and seeking answers from her friend. “What’s happened?” 

The wild look in her eyes frightened me.

Jenny came close, leaving Ruby and Pearl on a blanket where they played. I held my arms out and baby Ian came to me, leaving Jenny and Claire with a bit of space to talk even though I could already guess what had happened. I knew Claire could too.

“Their well is dried up,” Jenny said, gesturing off in the distance to the edge of the Randall’s land where the well was situated. “And they cannae stay wi’out water. Mary has family no’ too far away…” she trailed off.

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