I cross my eyes and flump to the ground in dissapointment. Why can't I climb trees like the boys can? I'm a better runner, a better thrower, and definately a better catcher than any of them, but Momma still won't let me climb trees like they do. Everyday after school the girls go home to help Momma in the kitchen and around the house. They clean and cook and do all sorts of other interesting things; however they don't interest me. I'm interested by the boys and the trees. I like sitting on the topmost branch and looking over all of them knowing that they aren't coordinated enough or light enough to sit up here like me without causing a branch to tremble or shake and moan.
"Watcha doin' sittin' on the ground like that, Addie?" Edmund's standing over me frowning. He's smaller than the rest of the boys and usually climbs up with me. When I'm not around he doesn't have anything to do.
"Go away, Edmund. I don't wanna talk right now." I sound like a snob, but it's expected of girls anyway.
"Addie... Addie... Adeline??"
"Don't call me that!" I say it in a hushed voice, but he looks fearful at my tone. I hiss at the boys like this all the time, but never Edmund. He looks hurt and I almost feel bad, but then I remember mother has people watching me who are just waiting for me to take on a challenge and climb the trees. I don't need to take on their challenges though. I'm better without proving it to them again.
"Oh don't take out your anger on me, Addie. It's that Ewart kid, isn't it? He finally got to you."
"No, Ewart did not get to me. I don't care what that spineless, pale, little rat says about me anymore."
"Well then what is it?" He really does care I'm sure, but this is a girl's business. He wouldn't understand. And even though I know he doesn't understand I have the strange sudden urge to tell him everything anyway. So that's exactly what I do.
"If you must know, Edmund, it's my mother. She doesn't want me climbing trees with the boys or running with the boys or even being with the boys. She has people watching me, my sisters and nannies included, and I just don't like it one bit."
"Maybe you should climb a tree. You're not doin' anythin' for anyone sittin' there on the ground now are ya? No, you aren't."
"Ya know, maybe mom would understand me if I climbed a tree... She'd see that I loved it. Maybe if she climbed a tree, she could know why."
"What are you waiting for, Addie? Let's go." I hop up and follow Edmund to the tallest tree in the area. If I'm gonna make a statement then I'm gonna do it right. The biggest tree, the hardest challenge. Momma's gonna kill me when she finds out I been climbin, especially in a dress, but it's too late now. My mind's set. I put my foot on the rough bark and start my ascent. Victory!