Breaking Mama's Number Two Law
Each day on our way to school, when we came to the Gibbs' house, Sybil, Robbie and Luther came out to walk with us. The next house was Mrs. Belle Boswell's house, most times she was sweeping her porch when we passed by. Mrs. Belle always gave us a big smile and waved to us as we went by. On down the road, Curt Woodall joined us for the long walk. Next was the Gladden house, Bill and Opal had a whole passel of kids, all sizes and shapes, some of them walked to school with us. Annabelle, who was my age, came out one morning wearing the most beautiful, multi-colored, Tam o'Shanter that I had ever seen, how I did envy her. On the way home that afternoon, I begged her to let me wear it, just until we got to her house. She was so selfish she wouldn't let me wear it until I offered her half of a stick of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. I didn't have a mirror, but I could just imagine how cute I looked.
A few weeks after that, Mama was rocking Patty, my niece, who was nine months old. She told us to go play and be quiet while she rocked the baby to sleep. We went to the sun porch to play paper dolls. There was nothing but silence in the house. All of a sudden, the silence was broken by a blood-curdling scream, coming from the living room. We threw our paper dolls down and ran to see what was wrong. Mama was crying and said, "Oh no, this precious baby!" We thought Patty had died, but Mama had seen a louse crawling on her little head. When she got over the shock, she immediately checked our heads, one by one, to see whether they were on the rest of us. She found them on all of us, but sure enough, I had more than anyone else, which meant I was in really big trouble. I had to confess that I had worn Annabelle Gladden's beautiful Tam o'Shanter. I had broken Mama's number two law, the lice law:
NEVER, EVER, WEAR ANYONE ELSE'S CAP OR USE THEIR COMB!"