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Darry Fraser
Darry Fraser

I can see her …

My cousin hasn’t gone to the stables today, so there she is, lying under the trees staring at the sky looking for all the world like the lady she’s not.

 

I know she’s not. I hear her talking like the stablemen talk. A lady wouldn’t talk like that.

And I know she rides my brother’s horse like a man rides a horse, I’ve seen her, many times. I feel my sneer … Oh, if you were a lady, you’d ride side saddle. Is our side saddle too old and poor for you?

All she does is scoff when I say she’s no lady. ‘I would never want to be,’ she says, as if it doesn't matter. Then she winds up her hair and pins it securely. I stand dumb. I don’t know why I feel so awful towards her but I do.

I’ll soon be allowed to wear my hair up, too, though what good it would do… no party for me, no society that still welcomes us. We only get visits from people when that riverman comes. He likes her. I wished he liked me.

Oh, bother! All the bad things started when she arrived! If I could curse like she does, I would.

I have chores to do in the kitchen. But I wait because the moment I see her riding astride again, I’m telling Ma.