The first period was a study period. Maddie tried to prepare her lessons, but she could not put her mind on her work. She had a very sick feeling in the bottom of her stomach. True, she had not enjoyed listening to Peggy ask Wanda how many dresses she had in her closet, but she had said nothing. She had stood by silently, and that was just as bad as what Peggy had done. Worse. She was a coward. At least Peggy hadn’t considered they were being mean but she, Maddie, had thought they were doing wrong. She could put herself in Wanda’s shoes.
The children listened to whatever Miss Mason told them. Then it was the first period as well as the study period. Maddie tried to study her lessons, but she couldn't focus her mind on her studies. Also, she felt sick and had an ache at the bottom of her stomach.
The narrator said Maddie was upset after hearing Wanda's father's note. As we know that Maddie didn't feel happy while Peggy was asking her how many dresses she had in her closet. Even though Maddie didn't like it, she didn't say anything to stop her. Maddie stood silently near her. So here, what Maddie did was bad compared to Peggy. For instance, if someone feels that one was making a mistake, we should tell them. If we are not telling them and thinking it in mind, it would also be considered bad. The same situation happened with Maddie and Peggy. Maddie's behaviour seemed to be worse than Peggy's, and also, she seemed to be a coward. The narrator said that Peggy didn't know she was purposely hurting Wanda.
But Maddie understood everything, but she didn't do anything about that. Maddie then imagined Wanda's situation by putting herself in place.
Meanings of the difficult words:
CowardA person who is not brave and is too eager to avoid danger, difficulty, or pain
WorseMore unpleasant, difficult, or severe than before or than something else that is also bad
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight- The Hundred Dresses II-Eleanor Estes (pp. 73-83). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.