It's time for the county fair! School has started, and even though it's still hot, fall just seems to be close. I didn't enter anything this year, although I had a quilt ready to be judged. We've never gone to the fair too many times over the years; more so when the girls were in 4-H and entered the things they had made.
The following is an account of how a trip to the county fair could have been for me when I was a little girl; the wolf, the ride on the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round are based on actual facts.
Daddy said he would borrow Uncle Dewey's car the next day, and asked if we'd like to go to the fair. Of course we would! and Mama said we would look at the exhibits first then we could go to the carnival.
Wanda and Charlotte patiently followed Mama as she went inside to look at the quilts and dresses, the canned green beans, peaches, tomatoes and jellies. Ribbons of blue, red, and white had been placed on the entries. Then Daddy told Mama to bring the girls outside to see something. Charlotte saw an animal which looked like a big gray dog. It was curled up inside a cage and had a terrified look in its eyes. A man hit the cage with a stick and the animal snarled and snapped. It was timid and frightened; Daddy said it was a wild wolf. Charlotte felt sorry for him; he'd been caught and now people came and stared at him and poked him with sticks just to hear him snarl.
Wanda was ready to ride the Ferris wheel; Mama and Charlotte would ride with her. The big wheel turned slowly, and their seat began to rise off the ground. Charlotte gripped the bar in front of her as people below them grew smaller and smaller. Then they went over the top and back down. She felt better; now they could get off, but before she could stand up, they were going up again! She clung to the bar with white knuckles and sweaty palms, and grabbed Mama's arm. She closed her eyes, then realized the wheel wasn't turning anymore. Good! Now she could get off and she wasn't going to ride again! But when she opened her eyes, the ground wasn't under her feet. The Ferris wheel had stopped and they were sitting at the top of the world! She was frightened, and trapped, just like the wolf!
Wanda thought it was fun. "See those mountains? We live on the other side of them!"
Charlotte was thinking, how were they going to get down? What if they fell out of the seat? Oh how she wished she was back over those mountains at home! Wanda told her the wheel had stopped so other people could get on to ride. Then the wheel began to turn and their ride ended.
When Mama took her to the merry-go-round, she was still afraid, but Mama promised to stand beside her, and as the music played and the ponies swayed up and down, round and round, the fear left, and when Mama asked if she liked the ride, Charlotte said, "Yes! Can I do it again?" So Charlotte rode again -- and again; Mama finally had to make her get down because it was time to go home.