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Tumbleweed Dreams:Part 6
"You're still taking too much." Jenny inwardly sighed as the woman before her tried to peel a potato. The way she handled a knife suggested she had never once even seen one before.
"I understand what needs to be done. What I don't understand is how one is to accomplish it."
Mentally rolling her eyes Jenny took the potato from her and tried once again to show her how to hold it and how to work the knife. She was thankful she had prepared dinner before showing this woman how to help. Otherwise they all would have starved. Daisy Mason must have been one very privileged child growing up. Jenny looked down at Poppy who stood beside her, clutching her skirts and watching Miss Mason with a look that could only be described as one of horror. She couldn't blame her. The way she welded the knife made Daisy appear as if she was there to harm them, not help them.
Daisy had tried her best and had determined it was simply impossible for someone of her social standards to learn how to cook. Never once had she been asked to preform those services before and she was not about to start now. Upon telling Jenny this information she received a look of what she assumed to be disinterest and unamusement. It wasn't her fault that she had never learned the ways of the kitchen. She had never had to learn them in the first place. There was always a cook present in the house and they never requested help. Even if they had done so it would not have been asked of her, but of someone with proper training. It had been suggested by both her parent that she bring along a hand, but she had been too determined that she could make it on her own. Her stubbornness did sometimes get the best of her, but he would be the last to confess to that. Two children ran through the kitchen, their squeals of laughter giving her a headache that made her wish she had never gotten out of bed.
"Daisy?" She turned to find Jenny standing behind her, a bowl of something balanced in her hands. "Do you think you can handle the mixing? I need to fetch the eggs from the hen house."
Nodding, Daisy took the bowl and slowly moved the spoon around in circles as she watched Jenny leave the house. She was still trying to figure out how she and the rest of the children where related to Mr. Miller. She had not heard any mention of a wife. Perhaps there had once been a Mrs. Miller who had cared for them and had helped maintain Miller Ranch. She tried to envision her and imagine what she might have looked like. The children playing underfoot both had blonde hair and appeared to be around the same age. Jenny however had light brown hair and appeared to be close to the age of 18. Whoever she was, she must have had a heart of gold and the patience of Job.
Jenny gathered the few eggs in the roost, trying to figure out what kind of life a woman like Daisy would have that would take away from her knowing the basics of life. Her clothing suggested she was someone from a more well to do, wealthier family. Even so, wouldn't she have a little bit of knowledge in the kitchen, just in case she needed to do something for herself?
"How's she doing?"
Bradley's deep voice startled her from her thoughts, causing her to nearly drop the eggs. With one last check for any she may have over looked, she turned to face him and answered, "She's definitely not from around here."
Bradley chuckled and leaned against a fence post. "I could have told you that."
"She certainly seems to have scared Poppy well enough with her cooking skills."
After dinner the night before Daisy had retired to her quarters. Jenny had been insistent that she get a good nights rest and Daisy had not been one to argue. Today however, she wanted to argue with every fiber of her being. Jenny had knocked on her door in the early hours of the morning and informed her they would be washing laundry. Daisy had assumed they wouldn't need her help, but she had been proved wrong. Standing over a bucket of sudsy water she dragged the heavy material of her dress over the washboard, her hair coming lose from the elaborate twist she had pinned it into. Jenny appeared to be doing just fine. Her own stack of laundry had diminished quickly, the already washed items hanging on a clothes line to dry in the brightly glowing sun. With one last shove down the washboard she pulled her own garment out of the water. Now dripping and heavy with the contents of the bucket it had been submerged in, it proved to be heavier than expected. Trying to keep it from spoiling the gown she wore, Daisy tried to squeeze some of the water out of it before attempting to hang it on the line with the other items. It took several tries but she finally managed to drape half of it over the line. "There. That should do it." With a victorious smile on her face she went in search of Jenny to tell her of her accomplishment.
Bradley chuckled as he watched Daisy from across the yard. In all her lace and finery she had been sent to the hen house to collect the eggs. The look on her face when she realized just where they were, was one of pure disgust and possibly hatred. He couldn't help but laugh at her next action.
Daisy felt her lips twist in disgust the moment her fingers made contact with the bird. She gave it a gently shove, hoping it would get the point and move out of her way. She already found it disturbing that she had been given such a job, one that she was determined to complete despite her disgust, but having to touch a varmint such as a chicken was something she had not bargained for. "Shoo." She waved her hands but the bird remained still. She tried the same with a few others, the result the same. Facing the first bird again she placed her hands on her hips and stared it in the eye, giving it a glare strong enough to send most men in the opposite direction. "Remove yourself from that nest this instant." The hen answered in what sounded to Daisy as a low almost growl. "Well! I've never! How dare you!" The bird clucked at her in what she was sure to be amusement. "We'll just see about this!" With a sniff of distaste she grabbed the bird, her intention to move it aside. The reaction was not one she had expected. With a squawk and a flap of wings, the hen struggled against her hold and with a shriek, Daisy let it go. In the process she managed to hit another hen and back into two more. Feathers flying and chickens squawking, she managed to remember what she had gone into the pen for. Grabbing as many eggs as she could hold she raced out of the pen and and slammed the door shut. After catching her breath she turned back to the house, only to find Mr. Miller standing off to the side of the porch, doubled over in a fit of laughter. Had he seen her display of commotion and how bad she was at this life style? She shook the thought from her head and marched towards the house. Why should she care what he thought? She had gotten the eggs as asked. Still.. something inside her wanted to know what he really thought of her. Despite all of his ways Daisy found herself wanting to know more about him and the life he made for himself on the ranch.
-To Be Continued-
Tumbleweed Dreams: Part 7
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