Pine Grove, Montana, 1892 — “Come on, Gracie, you can do it!”

With a giggle, the ten-month-old took another wobbly step towards her father, her mother holding her hands along the way. Then Maggie Rider cautiously let go, Gracie took another step, and–fell flat on her rear. It didn’t seem to upset her, judging by her giggles.

Her father, Frank, reached out and swung her up into his arms. Gracie reached for her father’s dark beard and Frank leaned his head back. “You’re almost there, Gracie girl,” he remarked. “You’re almost there to be walkin’ on your own two feet.”

“Soon enough, you’ll be runnin’ and your pa and I won’t be able to keep up,” Maggie said, tucking a loose strand of chestnut hair behind her ear.

Gracie yawned. Maggie held out her arms and Frank transferred their daughter to her. “Time for bed, sweetie,” she said. As she was carried to bed, Gracie’s head dropped onto her mother’s shoulder.

Maggie gently placed her in her cradle and kissed her forehead. “Goodnight, sweet girl.”

©H.S. Kylian 2018

(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)

This post was last updated on February 15, 2020

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