| The Revolt of Mother

Posted by admin at 2008, October 1, 3:27 PM
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The story is called "The Revolt of Mother". It was written by Mary Wilkins Freeman. It was published as part of a collection of stories in 1891.

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"Father, what are the men digging over in the field for?" 

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The old man shut his mouth and continued getting his horse ready to ride. They were in the barn, standing before the wide open doors. The spring air was full of the smell of growing grass. Adoniram Penn looked at his wife Sarah. She looked as unmovable as one of the rocks in his fields. ムˇネㄛWWw。FAirY-tAle。INFOà

"Father", she said, "I wanna know what the men are digging over there in that field for?"

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"They are digging a foundation, if you have got to know."

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"For what?"

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"For a barn."

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"Ah, a barn? You ain’t going to build a barn over there where we was going to have a house."

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The old man hurried away. The woman went to the house. It looked extremely small next to the great barn and other farm buildings. A pretty girl's face looked out one of the windows. She turned quickly when the woman entered.  "What are they digging for, Mother? Did he tell you?"

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"They are digging for a new barn." ∈ねWww。FaIRy-TaLe.InFOゃニiò9@

"Oh, Mother, he ain’t going to build another barn."

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"That’s what he says."  КすH⊥wWw.fairy-TAlE.infOと

A boy stood by smoothing his hair.

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"Sammy, did you know Father was going to build a new barn?" The girl asked.

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"Yes, I suppose I did." he said. λ∵τヵwwW.faIRy-tALe.InFoサjせひ)

His mother looked at him hard. "Is he going to buy more cows?" ěwWw.fAiry-taLe.Infoγ%αoゑ

"I, I suppose he is." Sammy answered.

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The mother said nothing more. The boy got his cap and his book and started for school. óДた/‖WWw.FaIrY-taLE.INFOこマ±λO

"Mother," the girl said, "don't you think it's too bad that Father is going to build a new barn when we need a better house to live in?" とㄡwwW。fAiRy-tAlE.InfOìㄌ♀ュ』αた

"You should not judge Father, Nanny. He does not look at things just the way we do. I do not think you should complain. You have a good father and a good home."

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Nanny began to sob. She was to be married in the autumn. 

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Her mother got out the things she needed to bake pies for her husband. Whenever she looked up, she could see the site that pained her soul. The new barn would stand in the place where forty years ago  Adoniram had promised their new house would stand. The family gathered for the new meal, they ate quickly, quietly, then Sanny went back to school and Nanny went to the store. Sarah followed  Adoniram. せè※ㄥùwWW.fAiRY-TalE。InFOㄚュㄔ∝īν

"Father, I want to see you. Just a minute." ㄧしWWW.fAIRy-taLE。inFo

"I have work to do, Mother." 

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"Father, you come here."

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Sarah Penn stood in the door like a queen. She held her head as if it bore a crown.  Adoniram went.  ωεセWwW.FaIrY-tAle.InfOカㄍメフゐ∥

"Sit down, Father." Sarah said, "I have something I want to say to you." ǔさBwWW.faIry-talE.InfO말ㄊ

He sat down heavily.  タㄚυЬwwW.FaiRy-talE.Infos◎※ǎほ⌒جم

"Well, what is it, Mother?"

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"I want to know what you are building that new barn for. It cannot be that you think you need another barn."  Zo9ミσwWW.FAiRy-TALe。iNFoìj∩υS

"I, I ain't got nothing to say about it."

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Sarah stood before her husband. "Now Father, look here, I am gonna talk real plain to you. You see this room here. You look at it well. You see there ain't no carpet on the floor, and the paper is dropping off the walls. It is all I have had to work in and eat in and sit in since we were married. It is all the room Nanny will have to be married in."

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She moved across the room as if it were a tragic stage. She threw open the door to their tiny bedroom; she threw open the door to their tiny storage room; she threw open the door to the unfinished room above where the children slept. %≯∽(wWw.faIRy-tALe.infoλXㄣШㄑ

"Now Father, I want to know if you think you are doing right. Forty years ago you promised we would have a new house before the year was over. You said you would not ask me to live in a place such as this. It is forty years now, you have been making more money and you ain't built no house yet. You've built new barns and now you are going to build another. You are keeping your farm animals better than your own flesh and blood. I want to know if you think it is right." /ホúキㄜwww.fAiRY-taLE.infO∝ききㄅ

"I ain't got nothing to say." ゃWww.fAIRY-TaLE.InFoぇ_ЩUv1E

"You cannot say nothing without admitting it ain't right, Father. And there is another thing, I have got along for forty years and I suppose I can get along for forty more, but if we do not have another house, Nanny will not be able to live with us after she marries. I can not have it so."

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Sarah Penn's face was buring. She had defended her little cause like a great speaker, but her opponent remained stubbornly silent.

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"Father, ain't you got nothing to say?"

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"I have got to go off and get a lot of crushed stone. I cannot stand talking all day." +とwWW。FAirY-TALE.inFo9ふc

"Father, won't you think it over and build a house there instead of a barn?"

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"I ain't got nothing to say."

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Adoniram left. Sarah went into their bedroom. When she came out, her eyes were red. she spread some cotton cloth on the kitchen table. she begain to make new shirts for her husband.

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Nanny came back from the store and sat down with her needle work. "Mother", she said after a while, "we might have a wedding in the new barn".

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Sarah jumped a little, her face wore a strange expression. All through these spring months, it seemed as if Sarah heard nothing but the sounds of building. The new barn grew fast, it was ready by summer. 

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Adoniram planned to move in the cows, then he received a letter from Sarah's brother who had found him a good horse. "Ah...I hate to go off just now", Adoniram said, "but I think the workers can get along without me for three or four days.  I guess I'd better go. If the cows come today, Sammy can drive them into the new barn." ≡んㄧwww。faIRy-TAlE.InfOケめぅ∩_

"Well." said Sarah Penn. She went about her work, thinking, talking a little to herself,  then her voice ran out loudly, "It looks like a gift from God!"

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"What are you talking about, Mother?" Nanny asked.

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"Nothing."

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Later that morning, the men loaded the hay waggon and took it to the new barn. Sarah ran out to them. "Stop!" She screamed, "Don't put the hay in the new barn, put it in the old one."

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She went back into the house, she began moving dishes out of the tiny storage room. She began putting them into a close basket. 

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"What are you going to do, Mother?" Nanny asked in a small voice. ㄘwWw。fAIry-tALE.inFOyο

"You will see what I'm going to do." Her mother answered, "Nanny, I want you to go upstairs and gather your things, and I want you Sammy to help me take down the bed."

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During the next few hours, this simple woman performed and acted bravely equal to that of any great military leader. Sarah Penn, at the head of her little army, moved all their possessions into the new barn while her husband was away. 

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The building was designed for the comfort for four-footed animals. Yet, right away, Sarah saw its possibilities for humans. With the addition of a few walls and windows, she would have a bigger more comfortable house than she had occupied for forty years. ιたwWW.faIRy-TalE.Infoο#へソ8へ

By the next morning, the news had spread all over the village. There was a difference of opinion about what had happened. Some thought it was the act of an insane woman,  some thought it was the act of lawless rebellious spirit.

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On the night Adoniram was expected home, Sarah cooked the food he liked best. She put on a clean dress, her children kept close to her. ゐㄌ々wwW.faIRY-tALe.inFoJㄛ%SСも˙

"There he is!" Sammy said.

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Adoniram led his new horse to the new barn. He rolled back the great doors, there stood his wife and children.

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"What on earth are you all doing down here!"

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Sammy's voice was high and thin,"We, we have come here to live, Father."

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The old man's face was pale, frightened. Sarah led the way into the barn. "Now, Father, there ain't nothing to be upset over, I ain't crazy. But we have come here to live. We got just as good a right to be here as horses and cows." 1〃#Rァwww.FaiRY-tAle.InFOをФБě

Adomiram ate, then went outside and sat down. He put his head in his hands. Sarah went to him and touched his shoulder. He was crying, "I,I,I'll put up the walls and everything you,you want."

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Sarah put her hands to her face, overcome by her own victory. Adomiram was like a great fortress that falls the moment the right weapons are used. "Why, Mother," he said, " I had no idea you wanted this so much to have done all this."

フ♀√マ∠WWW。fAIRy-TaLE.InFoЗ

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