It's not stated exactly in the book A Home for Phoebe,
but today, April 8, is Phoebe's birthday!
Spring is in the air, the plants are budding,
and the birds are returning to their nesting grounds.
Here is a short excerpt for you -
Once again, the winter winds turned into the warm breezes of spring. Streams roared with the melting snows, linens fluttered on the clotheslines, and the phoebes nested in eaves of the barn. The hens led their broods of chicks about the yard. Lolly had a calf, and there was plenty of milk.
Maseppequa returned from the barn with full pail of milk just as the family roused for the day. Ben tickled Phoebe and said, “Guess what today is.”
“Christmas?” Her face lit up hopefully.
“Close . . . it’s your birthday! Five years ago, on a warm April day, just like today, just as the sun peeked through the apple tree, God gave us a wonderful present that had two arms, two legs, and two blue eyes.”
Maseppequa poured the milk through a clean cloth while she listened. I remember when Phoebe be born. Maseppequa had changed so much since then. It seemed a lifetime ago.
Ben touched the tip of Phoebe's nose. “Yes, you . . . but what happened? You’re much too big to be that little girl!”
“Are you sure? Let’s measure you on the door frame.”
Phoebe scurried to the pantry door and pushed her back against it, holding her chin up high. Ben scratched a mark above her head and stretched the measuring to the floor. “Hmm . . . I don’t believe it! Ten feet tall!”
“Hmm . . . Now, this is more like it . . . three feet and four inches.”
Phoebe tipped her head to look at the top. “How big are you, Papa?”
Ben stood against the door as Martha marked him.
Maseppequa carried the pail to the shed where the milk would stay cool. When she returned, Ben was measuring Martha. Phoebe hopped from one foot to the other. "Maseppa, when is your birthday?"
Maseppequa looked from Phoebe to Martha and Ben. "I . . . I not know. I not have birthday." The room suddenly seemed too small and too warm. "I go for walk. I be back before dark."
I not belong here. I not belong with Algonkin. No matter how hard Maseppequa tried to forget, her past crept up and reminded her that she was different. She would never fit in this world of the white man. Maybe Pete should have taken her back to the Indians. Maybe it would have been better if he had never come back into her life. It be better I not be born.
The trees and crickets whispered comfort to her soul. When the bright star shone in the west, she followed the trail back to where she knew there was love.
~ # ~
Zeke the Peddler has stopped at three blogs on his route,
look for the next one tomorrow at Dee Yoder's blog .