Hi! It’s Heather typing.
Last year in May, Samantha had a big birthday (https://jackylina2013.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/happy-birthday-samantha/). This year features Kit. Her story, Happy Birthday Kit by Valerie Tripp is abridged and paraphrased by me.
A couple days before her birthday, Kit was doing what she felt she was always doing: her chores. She was carrying a huge load of laundry to put away when the doorbell rang. Kit hurried to get it and as she tried to open the door, all the laundry fell to the floor. She didn’t care because she couldn’t believe who was at the door.
“Aunt Millie!” Kit cried giving her a hug.
“I can’t believe it! You almost never come to visit and now you’re here!”
“Yes, well, I thought I’d drop in ‘like a feather in the breeze’. I also don’t have a home to live in anymore, since the mine closed in the town, and I thought I’d plop myself here until I decide to move on. Where are your parents? I’d like to say hello,.. but I see that you are busy and your parents must be too, so lets get to work and I can say hello later.”
So off they went to put the laundry away and do some more.
Kit was so excited that Aunt Millie was here to stay. She had so many ideas to make old things new again and to make more than one use out of one thing. The next day, Aunt Millie got Kit up early to pick dandelion leaves for a fresh salad and then they got started in the yard to make a garden.
Mother walked in on them with an apprehensive look on her face.
“What are you doing?” she asked as she looked at the bare patch of dirt right next to her beautiful azaleas.
“We’re making a vegetable garden!”
“You couldn’t put it behind the garage, could you?” Mother asked.
“The garage is too shady,” answered Aunt Millie, “this patch of yard gets plenty of sunlight and it makes for less work for your father when he mows!” Aunt Millie smiled at Kit.
Kit was so impressed by all of Aunt Millie’s ingenious ideas, like how to make a patch on pants with holes, or how to cut and sew cuffs backwards on a shirt so the frayed part wouldn’t show, that she got her friends, Ruthie and Stirling together to make a book.
“I think we should make a book of all of Aunt Millie’s great ideas.”
“That would be fun,” said Stirling, “I can draw pictures and you and Ruthie can write descriptions and instructions.”
Ruthie got excited too, “That’s right! We’ll make different categories in the book, like sewing, gardening, and miscellaneous.”
So they got busy working on the book. They even ended up having to make an exciting new category when Aunt Millie found a use out of the space behind the garage. She got some chickens and had Stirling and Kit sell and deliver eggs.
It was raining the day Kit and Stirling delivered the eggs and Kit was feeling discouraged and embarrassed because one of the neighbors who saw Kit with her egg wagon thought their family had stooped pretty low to be selling eggs. Kit trudged through the rain when Stirling stopped and said, “Look!”
There was a lump on the curb of the street. It was an animal. Kit walked up to it.
“It’s a dog! Can’t feed her anymore” Kit read the collar on her neck, “Aww, the poor thing. I think Aunt Millie would consider this one of her rescue missions. We need to take this dog home!”
If Kit had thought that the egg day was the most embarrassing day of her life, she was very much mistaken, because the next day at school, out of the blue, Aunt Millie walked into her classroom. She looked so out of place with her old work-a-day dress and tattered Sunday hat. Kit heard some of her classmates giggle.
“Excuse me,” she said, “But I would like to announce to the whole class that Margaret Mildred Kittredge is having a Penny Pincher Party that you are all invited to. It will be on Saturday at three and I will teach you how to make dandelion salad, make a garden, and how to raise chickens. It’ll be jim-dandy!”
That got the class all riled up. They laughed and clucked like chickens. Kit had never felt so miserable. She followed Aunt Millie out the classroom door.
“Well, what do you think?” Aunt Millie asked cheerfully.
“I think that’s horrible. My friends will make fun of me now they know how poor I am. It’s so embarrassing. I wish you hadn’t come!”
“Aah. So that’s how you feel. Well,” Aunt Millie sighed, “I will be on my way.”
Kit couldn’t concentrate the whole rest of the day and she raced home. She threw herself on her bed and wept.
But when she looked up, she saw something beautiful waving in the breeze by her window.
It was a dress made out of the chicken feed sack. Kit suddenly felt horrible about what she had told Aunt Millie and wanted to apologize.
“Where’s Aunt Millie?” Kit asked.
“Honey, she left,” Mother said, “she’s probably at the train station right now.”
“Oh no! This is all my fault!” and Kit proceeded to tell her parents what had happened at school that day.
“Well, I think we might be able to still catch Aunt Millie before she gets on her train if we hurry.”
They raced to the train station and found Aunt Millie sitting on a bench.
“Aunt Millie, I’m so sorry I said those things to you! I don’t want you to leave! If you don’t believe me, here’s how much you and all you’re ideas mean to us; Stirling and Ruthie and I made a book of everything you taught us so we wouldn’t forget it. It’s the Waste-Not-Want-Not Almanac.”
“Well, I’ll be darned!” Aunt Millie cried.
She went home with Kit’s family and the Penny Pincher Party turned out to be one of the best parties anyone had attended.
Kit realized her friends had been laughing because they thought Aunt Millie was exciting and her ideas were unique so they wanted to try it too! Kit was so happy to share Aunt Millie with them and she stopped feeling embarrassed about being poor.
Kit and Ruthie played themselves.
Mother…… Kate Gotz
Stirling…….yes, it was Lindsey having to play a boy again. This time she had to be bribed: She will be going on a trip with Lanie and me.
Happy Birthday Kit by Valerie Tripp copy right American Girl 2001.