“If I were a thimble, where would I be,” Becky whispered to herself. She spied the grandfather clock resting on a pedestal with four feet holding up the base. How smartly a thimble could fit under that pedestal. The height of each foot looks to be equal to the size of a thimble. Dropping to her knees, she peered beneath the clock.
Drat, it’s dark and dusty. She pulled the pencil out that was holding her hair in a bun, her tresses falling over her shoulders, and swept the pencil in the space between the base of the clock and the floor.
A spider scurried out and she heard something rolling about, but only farther back beyond the reach of her thimble-chaser. She laid down flat on her belly and cocked her head. “Burdee, grab the flashlight for me,” she called. “It’s in the buffet drawer on the right side,” she added.
Eager to help her big sister, Burdee Erdmann scrambled for the silver flashlight. “Let me shine it for you, Becksey,” the little girl pleaded as she slid the metal switch up along the flashlight canister. Ten years separated the two girls in age with one sibling, Harold, between the two. Becky was smack-dab in the middle of her sisters and brothers as she also had two older siblings.
“Okay, Burdee, liegen down here with me and point it along the floor under the clock.”
“Liegen? Becky, sometimes you still use the wrong words,” Burdee said.
“Oh, it’s not wrong, just not English. Lie down here, Burdee and help me look.”
Light illuminated more dust, but Becky also saw a walnut shell, a marble, a paper doll’s bonnet, and in the way back, a thimble. “I wonder whose job it is to clean under this clock,” she mused.
“Since you’re down there looking, the job’s yours,” she heard her mother say, “but don’t get up, I’ll get a duster for you.”
“We’re a cleaning team, Becksey!” Burdee exclaimed, feeling more grown up to be helping with a novel chore like cleaning under the grandfather clock.
Becky said, “Burdee, whatever we find under this clock, you can have…except for the thimble. I need that to finish my sewing.”
Mrs. Erdmann handed Becky the feather duster and the older girl ran it under the pedestal, knocking out the dusty treasures for her sister to collect. “Mutti, do you want me to dust the mopboards, too?”
“No, I’d like to use soap and water on those, but you could come over here and dust under the buffet. There’s the long rail that’s hard to clean.”
Becky turned to Burdee, “See how I handled the duster on the clock? You do that with the buffet, okay?”
“Yes, yes, I will!” she happily said.
“Mutti, I can wipe down the floor and paneling with a soapy cloth, but I’d like to finish my sewing first.” Becky stood up and moved over to the sewing cabinet.
“That’s a fine idea, Rebecca. What are you working on?”
The girl held up some fabric and said, “Sören Markusson said he’d buy me a root beer at the church Octoberfest and I was making an apron to wear over my skirt. It feels like a new dress that way.”
“Markusson…his father is a farmer north of town here, isn’t he?”
“Yes, they live on a farm. Sören has a sister, Sonja, and he and I are in the same class at school. But he’s just buying me a root beer, Mutti. He’s not courting me or anything like that.”
“I should hope not. You’re too young to be serious about a boy.”
Becky kept her eyes on her unfinished apron and said, “Sharon, Ruth, Shirley, and I are all going together. I don’t know about the boys. I suppose some of them will be there, too. Are you and Papa going?”
“Ja, ja. Ich denke, I mean, I think we will go and take the little ones.”
Burdee had been lining up her trinkets on the table and said, “Where are we going?”
“Shortly, we’re going to make supper, little mausi. Clean your hands and put those dusty things away.”
Burdee laughed and ran in a circle, “I’m a little mousie, I’m a little mousie, squeak, squeak, squeak!” Her mother laughed with her and shooed her with her hands.Becky sat down to hem her apron.