She ignored the rising disappointment, lifted her chin and looked again at the row of titles on the worn books. She had been waiting for these boxes all week, had long ago finished the two books she had picked the last time the books came around. There were no new ones here. She had read every one before.
She closed her eyes and reached out. Blindly took one with her right hand, and one with her left. Once she had pulled them loose she saw that she was going to the island. Anne with an e. And one with horses.
Today she would head for the hay loft. The turkey was occupied in the far corner of the pen, so she cut across the yard and ducked into the dusky light of the barn. Her books tucked securely under her arm, she swung herself up the ladder as she heard her name called from the house.
She had finished washing the bedding, she thought. Maybe not. Her mother would eventually find
her. But in the meantime she settled into the hay, running her fingers across the cover and quickly leafed through the familiar pages. Then resolutely counted backwards from 10 ... 4 3 2 1.
Corralled the memories of this book into the back pasture of her mind and was ready to pretend she had never read the book before.
These books were her window onto the world, a passageway through the dusty summers and long cold winters.