“I lay in bed for a few minutes, wanting to get up but unable to exert the necessary energy. From the girls’ room, small voices rose in song, and I listened happily, thinking how pleasant it was to hear a brother and two sisters playing affectionately together; then, suddenly, the words of the song penetrated into my hot mind, and I was out of bed in one leap and racing down the hall. “Baby ate a spider, Baby ate a spider,” was what they were singing.”
–Shirley Jackson, Life Among the Savages
As parents we have all had those moments Shirley Jackson is talking about. This photo makes me think of the realization our mother might have come to at just the moment when she hears the boy saying, "Go ahead, Katie, pet the doggie! Go ahead!" And our mother launches out of the chair to save her baby.
This picture really needs a follow-up photo. The one where little Katie (barely a year old and unsteady on her feet) has been pushed into the Great Pyrenees by her laughing older brother. Unfortunately that photo does not exist. Only this one:
Something has happened! The big dog is up; Katie is restrained (or being helped to her feet). She looks a bit discombobulated–maybe she did fall into the dog! But the boy is still smiling (i.e. he has not been balled out). It’s a mystery!
[I think this picture was taken at the Coughlin’s house. They were our grandparents very good friends.]