One hot, sticky afternoon Ralph, Harry and I were sitting under the big oak tree in the front yard, modeling animals, etc. out of mud.
I ran out of mud to work with, and felt it was too hot to go get more water and soil to make more, so asked Harry to lend me some of his. He took a great glob, and I felt rather ungratuitously—flung it at me, striking me in the chest.
I peeled it off, and, saying if that’s the way he felt, I didn’t want any of his old mud—I threw it back—hitting him in the neck—the throwing erupted into a full-fledged mud fight—with tme, as usual, getting the worst of it, as my throwing ability was notoriously inaccurate. Soon I had mud in my clothes, face, and in my hair. Ralph thought it the better part of wisdom for them to try to wash the mud off me before Mother saw me. So, it was decided to try to wash the mud off in the water trough in the horse lot. But, that was a mistake of no little magnitude. Having no towel, the muddy water ran down my neck, and down all over my dress in a muddy mess. They tried to wash the mud out of my hair—and I thought Harry took quite unnecessary glee in ducking my head under water—they didn’t dare unbraid my hair as they didn’t know how to rebraid it.
Finally, we all had to go to the house—I knew just how those miserable, bedraggled chickens felt after a hard rain and they walked around the yard with their wet feathers drooping. And I felt a kinship with that old saying “mad as a wet hen.”
Mother took one shocked look at me and said “What on earth?” Harry offered the suggestion that “maybe I fell in the water trough?” and “What in the world was I doing in the holes lot?” Harry “thought maybe to get some water?”
I was too near strangled by the repeated dunkings to say anything. I had to take a bath, change my clothes, and Mother had to wash my hair—it was too long for me to manage. She sat me on the porch for my hair to dry, with orders that I was to sit there until suppertime to have time to reflect on my misdeeds, and maybe I would hereafter remember that I was never to go into the horse lot, for it was no a fit play to play.
Harry and Ralph sat under the oak tree and laughed at me—I consoled myself by making faces, and sticking my tongue out at them.
Later, I was told, if I thought I had learned my lesson, and if my hair was dry, I could come inside to have my hair braided before supper.