by Judith Allen
Our Millie has a blubbery problem and can't find the solution. Grandpa provides answers
|Our Millie used ot say that sometimes you just have to get rid of those tears that keep comin;, wipe your eyes on your shirt sleeves, straighten up your slouchy back and get through the day. It is only up to you the way to do it.
In which Our Millie is on a quest for the answer to a blubbery question, Idy Clare tries to help with unintended consequences, and Grandpa unknowingly supplies the solution.
Our Millie was usually a very happy-hearted girl. She got up in the morning with a smile and excitement about what her day would bring and she tried to make everybody else smile, too, even if they didn't really want to. Sometimes she just bubbled over with joy and went about her time plannin' and dreamin' and explorin' life around her. She petted her animals, skipped in the sunshine or splashed in the rain. She read books and wrote her own stories and songs in her head, and things went along pretty well.
But, some days she woke up in a grump, feeling all twitchy and grouchy. Her eyes would get itchy and before she knew it the tears would start flowin' and the lips start poutin' in a really ugly way. Her shoulders would slump and she would jam her fists into the pockets of her bib overalls and go into a full cry. She didn't like it and didn't want it to happen, but she didn't know how to stop it from ruinin' her day.
Grandpa would point to a corner in the front room and order her to stand there and "cry it out." She had to cry real loud so he could hear her from the front porch and know if it was all comin' out and he could tell her when to quit.
Big Mil said that was drivin' her plain crazy and warned Our Millie that she better "cut it out" or she would get the hickory switch and really give her something to cry about.
Our Millie was very confused. How could she cry just a little and not get yelled at by Big Mil, but cry enough so Grandpa thought it was all done? Would any of this make her feel better, or just plain tired from all the sobbin', snifflin' and standin' in the corner?
One day, after a particularly tiring session in the corner Our Millie stomped out onto the front porch, dropped down on the top step and sat with her chin in her hands determined to figure all this cryin' stuff out.
She might have to do some obervin' and detectin' and it might take time and a little help, but she sure was tired of things the way they were.
She decided to watch Big Mil and her cryin'. Big Mil only cried when she stubbed her toe or hit her head or something hurt real bad. It was usually an angry cry, loud, but not long. And if you asked her if she was alright the cryin' stopped and the yellin' began. Of course she wasn't alright or shw wouldn't have been cryin' in the first place. Our Millie could understand that, but it wasn't the kind of cryin' that came from deep within like she was dealin' with.
Pa was no help. When he was feelin' sad he just headed to the fishin' hole, takin Tri-Pawed along. Whatever happened there, the old mutt and the little fishes weren't tellin;. He usually came home whistlin', with a line of bluegills and sunfish, and sometimes a catfish, and everybody was happy. Our Millie thought the fish might not be happy, but Pa was smilin'. She filed that away, thinkin' she might go fishin' the next time she felt like cryin',
Billy Bug just laughter and said cryin' was for silly girls. He never cried. Our Millie knew he did 'cause she saw him a few times when he didn't know she was there. Then he punched her on the arm and ran away. She started cryin' like Big Mil 'cause it hurt pretty bad.
It was interesting the way Grandma cried, but since Our Millie didn't have a lace handkerchief to tuck into her sleeve and put out to dab away tears, she didn't thing she do it that way. Grandma only cried when reminiscin' about those who had "gone before" or "passed over". She would catch one tear at a time with her hankie and talk about the next person she was thinkin' about that day and catch a few more tears. Our Millie didn't know much about "goin' before" or "passin' over" so she thought she would leave that alone for awhile.
One day Our Millie and Idy Clare were walkin' up the dusty road, headed to the store to get a cold orange drink and she started talkin' about her quest to find out about this cryin' question. Idy Clare got real excited and said she was sure she could help. She would talk to her cousin in the City, who knew everything, and get back to Our Millie with what she said. In a few days Idy Clare was back, fairly dancin' on one foot and then the other with the news from her cousin. Seems she was goin' to Women's Meetings and they had discovered somethin' called the Primal Scream that was supposed to be even better than cryin' for makin' you feel better. She was sure, if they practiced real hard, it would work for Our Millie. So, they went out between the pig pen and the chicken coop and made sure Billy Bug wasn't anywhere near and started to try to get a good scream out into the air. They must not have been doin' it right, or reachin' deep enough down into their lungs 'cause all they cold get out were screeches and little squeals that weren't very satisfyin' at all. The only thing it did was scare the chickens and get them squawkin' around, and wake the piglets who thought it was time to eat and went gruntin' after the mama hogs. The mama hogs didn't like that at all and started their own chorus of grunts and squeaks and squeals that might have sounded more like the Primal Scream than anything Our Millie and Idy Clare could come up with. Our Millie thought the women in the City maybe should have tried a good cry instead.
Our Millie could always find things in her books, so she began to look there. It seemed that people didn't cry in the books, but they did some weepin' and swoonin'. From what she could make out it was done by the beautiful maiden placin' her wrist on her brow in a dainty fashion. Tears flowed smoothly and evenly down her cheeks. Her eyes would never get red and puffy. She did not make gulping or sobbing sounds like Our Millie did, but remained lovely and ladylike, dramatically throwing herself on her bed, giving herself over to her sorrow. Our Millie read about it a number of times and she decided to try it. She couldn't figure out which hand to use, but finally decided that since she was right-handed that was probably best. She positioned herself for a dramatic fall, but somehow her feet got twisted around and her fall became more like a plop. She got tangled up in the blankets and sheets and had to fight her way out to the jumble, fighting for breath. She decided you could get hurt weepin' and swoonin' and maybe even "pass over", so she would just leave it to the ladies in the books.
All this tryin' to figure out the right way to cry was wearin' her out until she cam up with one last idea. She would see how Grandpa did it. She never saw him standin' in the corner sobbin' like he always told her to do. So she began some careful obervin'. She noticed that a lot of the time Grandpa had his muddy boots up on the porch railin'. His long legs were stretched out in front of him and his body was loungin' in his comfortable old leather char. She looked closely and noticed that his eyes were clsed under his well-worn old grey hat, and the most excitin' thing of all, which made her understand what she was lookin' for, his mouth was slightly open to let the snores out.
Our Millie jumped around and laughed to herself. She knew she would never have to stand in the corner and again and wear herself out sobbin'. Grandpa's secret was that when somethin' bothered him, he just snored it out. She was determined, then and there, that was just what she would do. It looked so much more relaxin' and since she had worked so hard to find the answer, she would start right then in the chair beside Grandpa on the porch. It might take some time to perfect her snorin',. but since Grandpa did it so well, she was sure she could succeed.