Yesterday's Magazette

4 – Run Away Girl

Run Away Girl

By Marion Tickner

The kitchen door slammed behind me and I sped down the path toward the barn. I’d threatened to run away before, but this time I really meant it.

The warm and sunny weather was just right for running away. I reached the barn and kept going. Then I plopped down in the tall grass, weeds, and wild flowers to think.

It all started when Mom asked me to set the table for lunch. “Why do I have to do everything?” I complained.

I’d been reading my favorite book and didn’t feel like stopping. Of course I’d probably read it fifteen times before, but that didn’t matter. She was always asking me to do things. On Saturday mornings I had to help dust the furniture and windowsills. Sometimes she made me iron the handkerchiefs and pillowcases. After supper I had to either wash or dry the dishes. I hated to wash because the water would get cold before I finished.

“You’d get through sooner if you didn’t play in the water,” Mom told me. “You’ll like doing dishes when you grow up and have your own home.” I doubted that.

“It isn’t fair,” I told the flies buzzing around my head. “I’ll be glad when I grow up and don’t have to work.”

As I said, I’d threatened to run away from home before. Mom never took me seriously though, and often offered to help pack. Once I went upstairs to get the suitcase and accidently stepped on it and put a hole in the side. Then I had a bigger problem.

Now, in the field behind the barn, I had a decision to make. Where could I go? Grandma would take me in, but she lived on the other side and of the city and that’s too far to walk. Maybe Mrs. Lamb, down the road, would let me stay with her. I’ll bet she wouldn’t make me work. I could go to the woods out back, but it might get scary at night.

While trying to decide what to do, I remembered my school friend, Christine.

“I don’t like living at home anymore,” Christine had told me, “so I ran away.”

“Really? Where did you go?”

“I don’t know. I only got as far as Liverpool when the police found me and took me home.”

“Did they have the lights flashing and siren blowing?” I asked her. They didn’t.

Liverpool wasn’t too far away, the next town where I could catch a bus. But I didn’t bring any money. What if the police asked me, a little girl, where I was going by myself? I’d be so embarrassed to be brought home in a police car. That might be interesting though.

I heard a rumble from deep inside me. My empty tummy told me I needed lunch and I hadn’t stopped to bring any food. I stood up, brushed myself off, and slowly, humbly, walked back to the house.

As I think now of the day I ran away from home, I realize that my mother wasn’t a slave driver after all. She was only teaching me the skills I needed to help me grow.

P.S. I still don’t like doing dishes, although I don’t play in the water anymore.

1 Comment »

  1. Marion, your story reminded me of my son who, at the age of 8, decided to run away (I never did know why he would want to). As he walked out of the front door, looking like a mini Dick Whittington with a small pack on his back, I reminded him that he would need a flashlight as it would be very dark at night, a blanket to keep him warm as it would be so cold, a big stick to ward off any night creatures. He turned around and marched right back to his room. Stayed home for the next 10 years.

    Comment by cynthia — February 26, 2009 @ 3:25 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: