Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our Noble Work

A Mother's Journal shares some quotes from the children's novel Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink which I remember enjoying long ago. Caddie's father passes along to her some quaint words of truth:
What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman’s task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It’s a big task, too, Caddie–harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman’s work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man’s. But no man could ever do it so well.
(Thanks to Under the Gables.) Share


Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

A lovely passage. So long ago that I read the book, I didn't remember that. Thanks.

elena maria vidal said...

I had also forgotten!

Enbrethiliel said...


I love Caddie Woodlawn! That is one passage I also forgot, though now that you've reminded me of it, Elena, I know exactly where it appears in the story.

The part which I always remember is when Caddie and Hetty, the younger sister she is most annoyed with, are having a quiet moment together, just sitting on top of a hill and looking at the landscape. Then Caddie remembers another younger sister she had, closer in age to Hetty than to her, who died as a baby. She realises that losing that sibling meant that Hetty was alone in the family, too young to play with her older siblings and too old to play with the younger ones. Even though their family seems to have gotten over losing that baby, the scar will always be there.

Caddie Woodlawn is a novel full of wisdom that haunts the reader for years.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, I really need to read it again.