• Madison White

A Story a Day #22: Jessamyn West

February 27th, 2020

"Lead Her Like A Pigeon"

Jessamyn West

A young girl named Mattie is instructed to take some cookies to their new neighbors' house. It is getting late so she hops on her horse bareback and barefoot. She stops at a house that has been empty for a while to pick some flowers and begins talking to herself. Soon a voice answers; it is one of the boys who lives at the house she is going to. He offers to walk her to their house. When they arrive, she meets the family who is kind and sends her home with some fish. Her mother asks about the family and she replies by saying how smart and kind the boy is. Her mother talks about finding a boy whose face you like and Mattie gets upset at the thought of leaving home.

This short story is very tenderly written and features many observations about the beautiful natural world. There is a sense of coming spring and warmth returning to the land. It reminds me a lot of a novel I read not too long ago called Where the Crawdads Sing which has become immensely popular. The connection that the young girl has with nature is very clear.

I have a particular fondness for stories and poems that feature nature prominently. I've long been interested in how nature is portrayed in writing, especially in American and Midwestern contexts which I believe this story is written. I especially love the how this features a young girl and her very intimate moments with her family and a budding romance. Often, these scenes are left out of stories because they are not grandiose or dramatic, but I find them altogether more interesting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this simple and sweet story and it is likely one of my favorites I have read so far.

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