Johanathan came up first. He looked down at Martitia with irrepressible amusement lurking in his hazel eyes. "So little are you, Martitia. So little and so solemn. If you would only laugh back at us maybe we'd let you alone. Can't you learn to laugh too?" He leaned over and picked her up lightly. "Come, Martitia, I'll carry you across the stream". He walked out surely on the log, with Martitia held in his easy grasp. She felt secure at last. Then, right in the middle of the stream, Jonathan jumped over into the creek with her! It was as sudden as that. One minute she was held securely and dry and safe in Jonathan's arms on the log. Next minute she was scrambling and pawing in the waters of the creek. Martitia wondered, wildly, if moccasins and leeches and lizards were feeding on her already. Blind with water, she struggled toward the bank of the creek. Slipping and weeping, she reached the edge. She stood there a minute, her muslin dress dankly dripping. Then without a backward look at her tormentors she fled weeping up the path in the direction of home. "Will She Learn to Laugh?" Recommended for ages 12 and up.
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