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Hear That Whistle Blow XVII - The Perfect Ending for Katie's Dream

Jackie tells of the many adventures and emotions of a little girl growing up in a large family in the fifties.

Katie is a true little farm girl of the fifties. She loves adventure and the outdoors but she has dreams for her future. Just like any little girl at any other time.


Friends and Imaginations

Katie was in fifth grade now! How quickly that had happened. She rode the bus back to this school with friends from the one room now going into the fifth grade with her. There were also some who went to the big school behind the grade school that rode this bus. Katie made a few friends there too. It was a long bus ride and plenty of time to talk. Plenty of time to make friends.

She reunited with all her old friends and met her new teacher. This teacher had a sister who was a teacher here too and neither one of them had ever been married. Spinsters, her mother called them. Katie had wanted a close sister very bad for as long as she could remember. She could not imagine though wanting to live with her forever and never marry or have children.

Her mother said it was none of her business to wonder about so she tried her best not to. Still, when finishing her work ahead of most others and having spare time she did. She wondered so many things that may have led to this. Seeing this teacher staring out the window she wondered was she thinking of a sweetheart long ago? Were this teacher and her sister in love with the same boy? Were they tied to their parents who had grown old and feeble and could not leave them?

There were dozens of stories Katie could come up with before that year was through. She was never satisfied that any one of them was the right one. It would be a lifelong mystery she longed to know. Her memories were all based on actual events and this one would be left a blank page.


The Old and New

The boy who had caused Katie trouble for the love note in second grade was still here. He was very cute, if not cuter. But she made sure he never once saw her looking at him. There were other cute boys too and the bully. He did not scare her one bit anymore. She would never fear bullies ever again. She really had no idea why that was.

It was very hard to not whisper in class renewing old friendships. Finally, there were enough recesses to catch up. It was like one big family to Katie, eventually, and she was thrilled to be there with everyone. The only sad thing she could remember about this year was her grandmother dying.

This was her father’s mother and she was not very close to her but this was her first shock of death. Her sister, who she so rarely saw, stopped by class to get her. The family was already in the car out front ready to go to this grandparent’s house. Katie never forgot details of anything like this that happened.

The dead were brought home in a casket left open for friends and family to view. People showed up that Katie had never seen to eat and sing songs. She could not make herself eat and was put in a bedroom to sleep just off this viewing room. Her bed was facing the casket and the only other bed had her brothers in it so she could not trade with them. She was allowed to shut the door just enough to not be looking upon her grandmother. Still, the aroma of all the flowers was overwhelming. It was the worst night of her life.


Birds of a Different Feather

The next day Katie discovered a little cousin up the road her age. She was given permission to go home with her to spend the night. This started a lasting friendship with a very spoiled, but fun person. She would spend most summers with her swimming and doing summer things. She always loved her despite her spoiled ways. After all, she was the baby of the family while Katie cared for four sibling’s younger than her. So, they were bound to be different. Katie had no idea what being spoiled was like but she was glad she was not.

Katie also liked this cousin’s mother and going to church with her. Her cousin would sleep or doodle all through the church but Katie paid attention and was very amazed at it all and especially her aunt. This was her first experience with miracles which seemed to fit right into her love of nature. Weren’t they really one and the same? She believed they were.

Although Katie and her cousin did not share the love of nature and miracles they still enjoyed each other’s company and would spend many summers together up into their teens. They played dress up and shared secrets and it was the closest Katie would come to having a sister her age. Only a few weeks every summer. It made for hours of great memories long after she went home and years to come.

Dreams and Fantasies


You Cannot Go Home Again

Katie had been visiting the farm up the dirt road where she had lived, periodically. It was usually a quick trip since she was not really asking if she could go this far from home. Being pretty sure it was not alright she would not stay a long time before heading home.

This time was no different until a baby bull started chasing her! She ran to the first tree out in this open field she could get to and not a minute too soon. He butted the tree and nearly sent her sprawling. The limbs were hardly big enough to hold her. She wrapped her arms and legs around it as tightly as possible.

Telling the bull to get away only made it madder so she started ignoring it. It would go a short distance and then come back with a big butt. Katie watched it for a safe distance to outrace it but she knew if one bull was here others could be. She kept her neck craned to see more for a larger one may get her down for sure. She would have to be so careful when and if she got a chance to run. There was a patch of small trees and grasses maybe fifty feet away. If she could get in the middle of those maybe she could hide.

After what seemed to be hours the bull went up near the farmhouse to graze. Instead of running, Katie walked slowly to the group of trees, watching all around her. When she got there, she saw the baby bull had lost interest in her and peeping through the trees she could see nothing anywhere around. She kept out of the roadway near the woods all the way home in case she had to climb another tree.

She had never been so afraid in her life. It was clear she could never go to the farm again. Probably that bull had just escaped the nearby farm but if it happened once it could happen again and she knew she may not be so lucky another time. If she had been laying in the grass daydreaming as she sometimes did it would probably have done her actual harm, if not killed her. She would tell no one about this. But she would never take this risk again.


Heart Strings

With an aching heart that night Katie relived her scary experience. She said farewell to the happiest days she had known. There had also been very sad days. With the babies so sick but that was special too.

She had gotten to know her mother so much better and understand the burden it was to be a mother along with the joy. She had grown up a lot during this time looking at people she loved as she never had before.

It made Katie never want so many children to care for and worry about. Since she did not get a baby sister perhaps she would just have a couple of daughters instead of so many boys and that would be like sisters once they grew up. She saw grown-up daughters with their mothers and it did often look like sisters. At least very close friends.

She would marry a man one day who didn’t have to sleep all day as her dad did. One who could cook and clean house while she played with their daughters outside. Doing all the things she loved to do. She would teach them to love what she loved. From watching the world from the top of a tree to simply loving the haunting sound of a train whistle blow. That sound that did something very strange to the heart.

It was a beautiful dream.

© 2017 Jackie Lynnley

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