Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

22 December 2006

Chapter 5: Mary is Rescued

The boys didn’t know whether to laugh or groan with despair as they rapidly jumped into the muddy water. They each grabbed a desperate thrashing muddy hand. As they carried Mary out, water streamed from her dirty wet curls and drab muddy dress. This vision of yellow curls and sunshine now looked like a crushed bedraggled drowned daffodil. As Mary looked down at herself and saw her beautiful birthday dress ruined, she opened her mouth and started wailing on the top of her lungs with misery and distress. And that is how she was carried in this manner all the way to João’s house.
João’s mother, Lucy Silva came running out of the house when she heard the commotion Mary was making, thinking someone was dying. She whipped off her voluminous apron and wrapped it around the sad, dripping hysterical little girl.
Lucy took the sad yellow dress and put it in a pan of soapy suds to soak. Then she washed Mary from head to toe and gave her one of her husbands shirts to put on. When the girl saw the oversized dull gray shirt, she cried louder than ever at her loss.
“Shhh Mary, let me comb your hair and give you some tea to drink.” Lucy consoled.
After Mary quieted down, Lucy put the exhausted girl down for a nap.
“How about eating some fried taro and pork for lunch boys?” she asked as she bustled into her kitchen.
“Sounds delicious!” the boys chorused, glad she wasn’t angry with them for Mary’s accident under their watch.
“Mãe, we’re sorry Mary fell in the pond, but we warned her so many times. I hope her dress will be all right. She was so proud of it.” apologized João to his mother.
Lucy shook her head sadly. “I think the organdy material is ruined and can’t be saved. Don’t say anything to Mary and maybe she’ll forget all about it.

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