AN INCIDENT~~~ by Verla Mikkelsen Marx
What was that! Mary Ann's eyes went wide with fear, but she knew she had to remain calm so she
wouldn't frighten her younger brothers and sisters. The strange scratchy noise came again. What should she
do? Her thoughts flew back to early morning and she heard her mother and father giving last minute
"Mary Ann, Indians were sighted in the hills west of town this morning. We wish we didn't have to
leave you alone today, "but this trip is necessary to get flour for winter, so be sure you do exactly as we tell
you to. " Mother was putting things in the wagon as she spoke.
Father came in and began giving her instructions on what her duties for the day would be. "Take good
care of your younger sisters and brothers today. Make sure they stay close around home. Get the chores done
before dark. Make sure the chickens, pigs, cow and calf are locked up tight in their pens at least a half an hour
before dark. Then you take the little ones into the house, cover the windows and lock the door.
If the Indians
come this way they probably won't bother you unless they can see a light. "
Mother and father had left early to get wheat ground into flour, and it always took a full day. They had
to travel eight miles to the mill and the horses couldn't go faster than a walk with their heavy load.
Mary Ann surely wished mother and father would get back. To calm her fears, she gathered her sisters
and brothers around her on the bed. She would tell them a story.
There was that noise again. This time the other children heard it too.
Joe said, "I know, let's hide!" Mary
Ann thought that was a good idea, so she turned the washtub over and hid her two sisters under that. Joe and
George climbed into the loft and covered themselves with an old quilt. Mary Ann crawled under the bed.
they could even hear voices.
They all stayed very quiet for what seemed an eternity to Mary Ann. Finally, gathering all her courage,
she lifted the corner of the blanket covering the window and looked out.
There in the moonlight were her
parents, taking care of the horses before coming into the house.
Source: An incident in the life of Mary Ann Christine Jensen Mikkelsen