Ghost Letter to Arabella

                    June 15, 1804

Dear Ab Arabella,
     I'm so tired I had trouble even spelling your name!  It's no wonder after the day I've had.  Although it's very late and I'm writing by candlelight, I'm too tired to sleep - so I decided to write and tell you about my day.
     Imagine my horror when I went out to the paddock this morning and found the gate open and all my sheep gone!  You know how hard I worked to talk Papa into letting me have my own little flock to tend.
     I had gone out to the paddock in my bare feet.  I hurried back to the house and put on my sturdiest walking boots and quickly packed some bread and cheese; then set out to find my flock, hopefully before Papa got home.  He was away at market.
     Bobby came along with me, and I was glad for his company.  I didn't know how much help he would be in finding the sheep, but you know what a good dog he is for herding and driving.  I knew he could help me get them home if only we could find them.
     First we set out for Conner's Tor where we would have a good view of the whole countryside.  No sheep in sight!  We came down from the tor - our climb for nothing - and turned down Cobbler's Lane with the cottages on one side and the open field on the other where there were a few cows grazing, but no sheep. 
     Mrs. Shoemaker called out to me from her cottage door.  She wanted me to visit, but I was anxious about my flock.  Besides, she has so many children and they're all wild and unruly!  One of the boys threw his leg over Bobby and rode him like a horse.  Poor Bobby!  We didn't tarry long.
     We went out Newman Mill Road with eyes searching and ears listening for anything like the bleating of sheep.  I was glad I had my shepherd's crook to lean on.  We rested by the mill pond.  I shared my bread and cheese with Bobby who was as hungry as I was.  Mr. Newman, the miller, gave me a cool drink of water from his spring, and Bobby drank from the mill pond.
     We rambled on and circled around to Market Town Road.  When we got back to the village, we saw Mrs. Hubbard coming out of the butcher's shop.  When she asked how I was, I burst into tears, and she made me come to her house for tea. We had bread and jam with our tea, and I was quite satisfied although Mrs. Hubbard was sorry there were no sweet cakes in her bare pantry.
     I thanked kind Mrs. Hubbard, and Bobby and I started for home with sad hearts.  Just as we were about to turn off Elm Rowe into our own lane, what should appear around the curve ahead, but my dear flock - all nineteen of them - bleating merrily and wagging their tails.  The dear little things!  As if they hadn't cost me a day of toil and tears!

                       Your faithful friend,

Can you guess who L.B.P. is?

No comments:

Post a Comment