Saturday, February 16, 2013


There were so many people gathered on the grassy
slope above the harbor.
Blick and her family, Mother Father, two sisters.
And the wheelbarrow.
Mr Berns, the black smith, the berry seller and two women who
also wanted to buy berries.
Everybody was talking at the same time.
Father with his strong voice spoke up:
One at a time. Mr.Berns, You first..

The horse is going to be fine. He hurt one of his legs in the
heavy wind as they came around the corner of southern
Skane. I have fitted him with a splint and if you can keep him
quiet on the way home tomorrow, he should be fine.
Mr Berns, how much do I owe you?
I will take three liter berries. What time will skutan sail.
Day break?

And then it was Father's turn. I will take 50 liters. Please
divide them equally in the two baskets. And Mr berns. How is our cat?
He only lost one of his nine lives. There was an angry infection near the
upper part of the tail. I am sorry to say that  Topsy is now tailless.

How much do I owe you, said Blick/ I have no money but I can work.
With a tiny hick up she added, there are some weeds near your front
door. I can also wash dishes.

Mr  Berrns said, Lets not talk about that now. It is going to
get dark before you get home. Let's go to get the cat.

topsy is now tailless

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


There was now a large crowd gathered on the little grassy plot above the harbor. Two or three women who were waiting for mother to get served by the berry seller. The berry seller paid no attention to mother for he wanted to speak to the blacksmith to find about his horse.Father wanted to know if Mother was ready to start for home. Blick's two sisters had to know if Blick had heard about her cat.

All were talking at the same time. Finally there was a loud voice heard.  Father said: Let's take turn speaking. I think that most important is finding out about the injured horse.

The horse is going to be fine. I have put a splint on his leg. On the return trip it would help him if you could keep him either lying down on something soft, or else tethered so that he can't move very much. The berry seller had a tear in his eye when he shook Malte's fathers hand. Then he said "How much do I owe you?"

I will take five liter berries.

Father said" My turn.  We will take 50 kilograms. Half in each basket. And then I need dto speak with Mr  Berns. We have a cat to discuss.

While this was going on Mr Berns, Father and Blick moved to the outskirts of the gathering.

Tell me, do we have a cat, or did he pass away.

The cat spent only one of his nine lives. There was an infection in the open area of his tail. I am sorry to say, he is now a tail-less cat. If you keep him clean he should recover.

Blick began crying when she tried to say Thank you. but the words came out with a hick-up. Then she said, how much do I owe you. I don't have any money, but if father will let me, I can work. There are weeds in front of your house that I could work on, or I could wash dishes if you want me to.

Father spoke up. If you are to work you are to take one of your sisters with you..

Mr. Berns said, we will figure it out later.  If you are to get home before dark, we better stop talking. Stop by on your way home. Try to keep the cat quiet on the wheelbarrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

At last

The road became straighter and when they saw the outline of the church they knew they would soon be at the harbor. Mother speeded up her steps and luckily the road was slightly downhill.

They passed a large empty lot. Mother had heard that all the construction gear was for a Danish man who wanted to build a wind mill at that place. As we turned left at the next corner Mother said 'guess what we will see at the next corner. THE HARBOR.

There we could make out the lingon salesman and a couple of shoppers.  There were two sailing ships tied up in the harbor. A man was walking toward the activities from the right. Mother, that is Malte's father.

Aren't you lucky. Now you will hear about Topsy.

Mr Bernd, the black smith. obviously had come to discuss something with the lingon berry salesman. They were in a deep discussion about someone named George. When they were finished, the salesman could attend to Mother's wishes and I could ask what had happened to Topsy.

Is this your mother? Let's tell her too. The  cat is healing and can go home with you, when you are through with the berries. I now have a new patient whose name is George. He and the berries came down from lingon land on that 'skuta' in the harbor. They met heavy winds and waves when they entered Oresund. The owner thinks that George has a broken leg.

Down the hill came a great crowd. It was Blick's father pushing a wheel barrow and a crowd of girls. All Blick's sisters

Friday, February 8, 2013

Don't walk so fast, mother.

Blick was almost running to keep up with her mother on the long way to the harbor. She was surprised her mother could walk so fast, for she was sort of old. And she was carrying the two large baskets. They were not heavy but uncomfortable to carry. And wait 'til they were full of lingonberries. Then they would be really heavy.

Mother, how soon can I find out about my kitty?

You will have to speak to  your father about that. It will be too late tonight to go to see him. When you go to bed tonight say a prayer that he will recover. Have you thought about how you will pay Malte's father for whatever he has done for the cat.

I have no money. but if he agrees to it, I can clean up the garden in front of their house. There are lots of weeds and junk there. And if Father lets me go that far, I could do other work for him, maybe.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sale at the harbor

Blick, can you run down to the cellar to get the two biggest baskets. Put your gym shoes on. We have to walk fast. I will carry the baskets if you will carry my purse. But lets hurry. And go in to the class room and tell Father we are going to buy Lingonberries. And for him and Ivar to come to help us carry the berries and the sugar back home. Ask him to lay the fire in the stove and to haul up three of the largest Hoganas crocks. He will understand. This happens every time lingon berries are for sale. And then you and I will hurry as fast as we can.

Tears were coming to the surface of Blicken's eyes. No more dawdling. This is important. If we are late and the lingon berries are gone, our family will have about half of the vitamin C we need for the winter. Your sisters will be here to help with the cooking of the berries. Then you and Father can go and talk to the blacksmith.

I am so scared to talk to Father. He is big and so mean.

Hush. Don't let him hear you talk like that. He is doing what he feels is right to make you grow up to be a decent, honest woman.  Tie your eft shoe again and then let's go.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What happened to the cat

Blick went looking for her mother after her sobbing stopped. She remembered to get a drink of  water from the pump in the kitchen sink and gave herself a quick wipe around her nose and mouth with her wet hand.

Her mother was sitting in the garden knitting on her eternal socks. Everyone in the house wore socks knitted by her. In the winter the socks went over the knees of everyone, but spring was coming  and from now on knee socks would be the style. She said"come here,Blick". I am so sorry about your cat. And I hope and pray that the blacksmith can fix him.

"Will you come with me when we go to get him?' I am so worried about him.

I really have no time for that. I think your Father better deal with that problem. You have to  remember to be more obedient.  

I didn't mean to be disobedient. I am so worried about that cat. If he dies I don't know what to do.

Just then Carlson's lur tooted.  Hush Blick. I want to hear what is for sale at the harbor.

ASll of a sudden Carlson's voice was heard saying Lingon berries for sale. 15 ore er liter

Come Blick. Let's hurry.I do not want to miss this sale. Let's get the big baskets.