"Ann there's a letter here for you from your pen-pal." Susan said from the porch seat where she was looking through the day's mail. When no reply was forth coming Susan looked up from the mail to see where her daughter had got to. Not seeing Ann anywhere in the front yard Susan sighed and looked to the heavens muttering a prayer for patience before she asked the nearest hired servant, Beth, to find her rambunctious daughter.
I held my hands over my mouth to quiet my giggles as I watched mother look up and mutter what I didn't doubt was a prayer for patience. Turning my attention away from my mother I looked at the envelope she had been holding when she had called for me. "I should ask Wendy if her parents would let me stay over for a few weeks while mom and dad go to Europe to meet up with grandma? She's always pinching my cheeks and telling me to grow up." I wondered quietly keeping an eye on the one hired servant Beth who mother must have sent to look for me, before a bit of movement caught my eye and I turned to see a caterpillar crawling along a leaf.
Immediately it caught my attention as it was a pure blue colored caterpillar reminding of one of my favorite stories, Alice in Wonderland. I was so captivated in watching him thinking that he might just turn and start talking to me when two hands grabbed me from behind. Immediately I kicked out and grabbing hold of the loosened hands I rolled myself forward out of the hands before turning around to see who had grabbed me. Upon seeing the pained face of Beth I carefully took a step over Mr. Caterpiller and began to apologize,
"I'm sorry Beth. You surprised me. I was just thinking about Wonderland you know from Alice in Wonderland. And then you grabbed me from behind and I thought for a second it might have been the Red Queen's men so I just reacted." I said using the handkerchief grandmother insisted I always carry with me to wipe the dirt off of Beth's face. Beth smiled and shook her head good naturedly, "No Miss Ann I should know better than to sneak up behind you, especially since your father brought back that martial art's teacher for you three months ago." Beth said as she stood up and brushed off her dress.
I stood up to coming almost eye to eye with Beth which caused me to clap my hands together and start jumping up and down in joy. "Beth I grew again! We're almost eye to eye now!" I exclaimed happily causing Beth to laugh and shake her head.
"Honestly Miss Ann most girls don't want to be tall at your age…well I guess your definitely your own person." Beth said, the last part was said quietly more like it was a thought she had that accidentally came out. I shrugged it off and beamed up at her starting to skip to the house before remembering that I should ask mother about staying over at Wendy's house while her and dad went to Europe. With that thought in mind I started running busting inside the screen-door with a quick, "Bye Beth!" Hollered behind me while I started searching for mother who must have went inside after asking Beth to find me.
After searching most of the rooms in the house I found mother in my room looking at the clothes in my closet.
"Mother?" I said confused as to why she would be looking over my clothes when I saw a letter in her hands. Still confused and now starting to get a bit worried thinking Grandma might have asked us to go earlier without papa who would not be home for another seven weeks, when mother turned to me her face positively beaming. "Ann honey, your pen-pal Wendy Darling's mother Mary asked if you and I would like to meet them for tea as they are coming this way to stay with Mary's mother for a few days." Mother said.
"Really?! Wendy's coming up here? When?" I asked bouncing on the balls of my feet as my excitement at meeting my pen-pal face to face. Mother smiled at me before turning back to my closet, "In one week. As Wendy is the first girl with whom you have made friends with, albeit only writing to each other is not very informative, we must make sure we give a good impression which means you must be on your best behavior Ann Lynn." Mother said her tone brooking no argument causing me to cross my arms and pout, I hated being on my best behavior it was always so boring.
"But mother Wendy likes me for who I am! And we've been writing for almost two years now so she knows …" My voice trailed off under mother's stern eyes and displeased look on her face, sighing quietly I nodded. "Yes mother." I said. Happy about my response mother turned her attention back to my clothes checking each dress and putting them in three piles, discard, recycle, perfect. Seeing that her attention was diverted I quietly but hurriedly headed down to the kitchen to see if I could sneak a cookie or two from Zoe, the head cook who always acted strict but when no one else was watching she would slip me sweets.
"Lucky!" I thought happily as Zoe snuck me a spoonful of icing she was covering a delicious looking chocolate cake with. Satisfied I headed outside and sat on the porch steps as I ate the icing while sulking at the thought of what horrid dress mother was going to force me to wear when we met Wendy and her mother. "Life would be so much easier and fun-filled if I was a boy." I muttered around the icing.