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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Wilder, Laura Ingalls

Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House in the Big Woods
On the Banks of Plum Creek Little Town on the Prairie

In a speech given October 1937, Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was born on February 7, 1867, reflected on her now famous Little House books. “Many years ago—there was no radio to amuse us, no moving pictures to go see, so when the day’s work was done, we sat in the twilight or by the evening lamp and listened to Pa’s stories and the music of his violin.”

Years later, in her sixties, Laura Ingalls Wilder started to write these stories down–these and the stories of her own childhood. Even today her books stand out as accurate pictures of life on the prairie. “I wanted the children now to understand more about the beginning of things, to know what is behind the things they see–what it is that made America as they know it.”

She originally intended the stories to be one volume called Pioneer Girl but her own daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, an author in her own right, encouraged her mother to write a series. In fact, we now know that the two collaborated and it was Rose who did much of the writing and editing of these tales.

“The real things in life haven’t changed,” Laura wrote. “It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.” She died on Febuary 10, 1957.

A few of her poems (written as a child):

Far over plains and mountains
We traveled once together
And were good friends in every place
In any kind of weather.
Now as you travel life’s highway,
This is my thought today,
I wish you a pleasant journey
And good friends all the way.

We remember not the summer
For it was long ago
We remember not the summer
In this whirling blinding snow
I will leave this frozen region
I will travel further south
If you say one word against it
I will hit you in the mouth.

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