“Well, at least,” said Peggy gruffly, “I never did call her a foreigner or make fun of her name. I never thought she had the sense to know we were making fun of her anyway. I thought she was too dumb. And gee, look how she can draw!”
Maddie could say nothing. All she hoped was that they would find Wanda. She wanted to tell her that they were sorry they had picked on her, and how wonderful the whole school thought she was, and please, not to move away and everybody would be nice. She and Peggy would fight anybody who was not nice.
The two girls hurried on. They hoped to get to the top of the hill before dark.
“I think that’s where the Petronskis live,” said Maddie, pointing to a little white house. Wisps of old grass stuck up here and there along the pathway like thin kittens. The house and its sparse little yard looked shabby but clean. It reminded Maddie of Wanda’s one dress, her faded blue cotton dress, shabby but clean.
Peggy then said that she never called Wanda a foreigner (a polish girl) and made fun of her by calling her name. She then said that she thought that Wanda did not have any sense of understanding they were making fun of her. Peggy thought that she was dumb. After telling her that, she smiled mildly and said how beautifully she was drawing.
After hearing that, Maddie didn't say anything. She intended to find Wanda before she left the town. She wanted to meet Wanda again and tell her they were sorry for hurting her. Also, she wanted to make her feel that everyone in the school liked her and thought good about her. Moreover, she wanted to tell Wanda not to leave the town and that everyone will be good to her. Then she said that she and Peggie would scold them if anyone were not behaving properly with her.
Then Maddie and Peggy moved fast. They wished to attain the top of the hill before it became night. After reaching the hilltop, Maddie pointed to a white house and said that she thought that was where Wanda lived. Along the sidewalk, there were tendrils of old grass poking up here and there which appeared to like thin kittens. In addition, the house and its surroundings were "shabby but clean". The house surrounding made them recall just Wanda's worn-out blue dress.
YCIND_220815_4288_Old house.png
Wanda's house
Meanings of the difficult words:
GrufflyIn a low, unfriendly voice
GeeA mild expression, typically of surprise, enthusiasm, or sympathy
Sparse Small in number or amount and not dense or close together
Shabby In poor condition through long use or lack of care
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). First Flight- The Hundred Dresses I-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.