Maggie Malone was known to all her friends and neighbors as a girl who was ever shy and well-behaved. She made her mother happy because she didn't have to shout and threaten for her to "be a good girl" like she had to do all the time with her silly and boisterous four other sisters. Her father looked at her with pride and often bragged to the other men who worked in the deep and dangerous mine with him that she was his "prize and glory", his "little angel" sent to make him filled with joy. Her sisters were all a bit envious of her calm attitude and serious nature even when the opportunity for some naughty fun was in the air.
Her sisters were all named after flowers because until she was born all her mother could think about was her beautiful garden filled with flowers of every possible color and shape in the whole wide. They were called Rose, Iris, Daisy, and Petunia. The girls were all happy with their names except for Petunia who insisted on being called "Pet" saying her name was too long for people to say.
When Maggie came along her mother named her after her aunt Maggie who was sort of a "black sheep" in the family and was always traveling to strange places. She had never seen her aunt Maggie but was told she was a fun person and nice to be around. Maggie was determined to be the very best of girls and did everything her mother and father and the priest in church told her little girls should do to please the "almighty" up on high.
She brushed her hair every night.
She bathed every morning even if the water was cold.
She studied her lessons at every chance.
She helped her mother in the kitchen when the other girls were outside playing.
She always let her sisters borrow her things because she liked to make them happy.
She never said a bad word because the priest told her it would make her tongue black.
She kept her skirts long so the boys couldn't see her knees.
When she started thinking bad thoughts, she would think of strawberries and how good they tasted in her mouth.
If she was sad, she would smile and giggle and soon she would be happy again.
Her only problem was that no matter what the reason, she was almost always late.
She was late for breakfast,
Late for school,
She was even late for mass and that made Father Murphy frown right in the middle of a blessing.
Today was a perfect example.
Maggie ran down the stairs,
She ran out the door,
And she even ran though the enchanted forest taking the "short cut" that her mother told her was never to be taken.
She felt guilty but she ran as fast as she could because she hated to see Father Murphy with a frown on his priestly face. She picked up her skirts and ran like the deer turning her bare feet into a brown mess with the dirt of the rich thick soil. Then, she passed though the meadow and her feet turned green from the lovely sweet-smelling grass that grew so lush and soft like a magic carpet flowing fast beneath her feet.