02 May Charles Frazier

Ada did not yet have those answers, but she could feel them coming, and Ruby was her principal text. During the daily rounds of work, Ada had soon noticed that Ruby’s lore included many impracticalities beyond the raising of crops. The names of useless beings – both animal and vegetable – and the custom of their lives apparently occupied much of Ruby’s thinking, for she was constantly point out the little creatures that occupy the nooks of the world. Her mind marked every mantis in a stand of milkweed leaves, striped and spotted salamanders with their friendly smiling faces under rocks in the creek. Ruby noted little hairy liverish poisonous-looking plants and fungi growing on the damp bark of dying trees, all the larvae and bugs and worms that live alone inside a case of sticks or git or leaves. Each life with a story behind it. Every little gesture nature made to suggest a mind marking its life as its own caught Ruby’s interest.