Can you recall a time, standing at the rain-streaked window, when you begged to go outside? Had it really been three days? Did you promise to put on your yellow rain slicker and not to get muddy?
Did it continue to pour prairie rain down against the window as it has done for the past 72 hours?
Have you ever run in the wet long grass, and then off the edge into the mud? Would you possibly have been wearing a pair of boots that were a bit bigger than the size you really needed? Could they have been a big brother’s or sister’s boots?
Did you ever run right out of your boots? Did you ever find yourself three or four steps beyond your boots, now stuck in the mud, slipping and sliding trying to keep your balance? Were your white-socked feet slurping in prairie mud?
Was your mother watching from the kitchen window? Did she put down her dishrag and pull on her own rubber boots? Did she join you in the mud?
Did you slowly and carefully turn around sinking in mud, twitching and jerking to keep your balance? Did you hold your arms out like a tight ropewalker? Have you ever pulled one of those boots that you lost, out of the muck, trying to get most of the mud off the boot because it fell on its side when you were running?
Did you ever lose your balance while you were putting that first boot back on? Did your hands get even more muddy when you pushed your self back upright, one boot on now full of muddy sock, and one sock past your ankle in mud? Did you then balance on the other foot to pull a muddy sock into that last boot, pulling with both slippery hands on either side of the boot? Did you lose your balance again?
Did you then get muddier than ever?
Seeing that you were in serious muddy trouble did your mother join you in the mud?
Did you ever try to wipe your muddy sock feet on wet grass?
Were you surprised when she took off her boots and held her cotton kitchen dress up to keep it out of the mud, sinking her feet in past her own ankles? Did you laugh when she did? Did you laugh even harder seeing her laugh, doubled over, nearly out of control?
How long did you play with your mother in her cotton dress that day? Did it seem like forever? Does it seem like it was forever ago?
When it was over, did you get undressed right in the porch and go straight into the bath?