A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

Cara Welcomes Emi
by Rosemary Eskridge (Jul 2013)


Emi happily rode the train puffing south toward Rotan, Texas. She was ready to see John. He had magically swept her off her feet in Kentucky, when they had met at the bandstand in the park. Her Aunt Catherine had invited her to visit after her graduation from the Kentucky Women’s College in Paducah. The curriculum had been grueling: calculus, trigonometry, algebra; Latin, French, literature and art classes, she loved to paint.

Rotan, seemed a strange name for a town, but John assured her she would love living near the beautiful Brazos River. When the train stopped she caught the sight of a stunning surrey with her six foot, good looking, John driving it. He jumped from the surrey, grabbed her and gave her a quick kiss and an incredible hug while whispering “More later.” Her carpet bag was filled with just enough clothes to get by until her trunks came from Lake Providence. She couldn’t wait to start her new adventure as a “Texas Lady.” She didn’t even wince when John told her about the dugout where they would live until he built their home. John helped her into the surrey.

With her artist’s eye, Rotan was a beautiful town with streets lined with flowering locus trees. The wildflowers; daises, bluebonnets, and coreopsis, filled the roadside with the colors matching the oil paints in her valise.

John stopped by the family wagon company to let his father know that he would return later. They soon arrived at the dugout. Oh, my, what a surprise! The roof was squares of grass. Two windows were on the front and the door was a piece of wood that swung on leather hinges. It didn’t take long to put away her few things. Emi gave John a kiss then waved good–bye as he left returning to work. Turning around she saw their Nubian goat Cara, standing on the roof. OK, this wasn’t covered in her college classes, but she could handle this.

 She got the broom and shooed Cara off. That went well. Then the Cara decided she wanted to play tag; she butted Emi with her head and then chewed at her dress. John had warned her not to let Cara get in the garden but Cara soon had stuck her head through the garden fence trying to eat the mint and now was hung. Emi tried to free the goat but Cara twisted away.

Emi got Cara loose and then realized she had left the dugout door open. Cara’s new game of hide and seek included the dugout. Emi raced for the dugout but Cara beat her inside. Cara jumped on the bed, the wooden chair, over the small wood stove and on to the kitchen table. Cara spilled the sugar, sniffed at the dishes, and started eating the dish towel. Emi’s swatted Cara with her broom and Cara decided that the dugout was too small and skipped outside. Emi sat down on the bed and laughed.

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