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The Courtship of Priscilla Mullins
By Phyllis Naegeli
1 Priscilla Mullins set about to her tasks for the day. Her heart was sad as she thought about her parents and brother who had died from the terrible sickness. The family had come to Plimouth with hopes for a new life; hopes that they would be able to worship God freely. Now they were gone, and, at eighteen years old, she was left alone in this new land. She had family back in England, but that was so far away. A tear rolled down her cheek as the loneliness overtook her.
2 Her thoughts drifted back to the trip across the sea from England. Oh, it had been so hard. Many were sick, and one of the crew had died during the voyage. There was one joyful time when young Oceanus was born. What a time for rejoicing that was! And sighting land was a great relief after sixty-six long days at sea.
3 She recalled how hard the work had been in the raw land near the sea. The men had started clearing trees right away. The first task was building the common house where the supplies would be kept. Each family then had to build their own house. The women and children lived on the Mayflower during that time. Finally, they had been able to leave the ship. Then the winter came, quick and hard. Many fell ill and nearly half of the colony died. Priscilla wiped away the tears that fell freely now as her thoughts of her father, her mother, and her dear brother, Joseph, came back to her mind.
4 She lived with several other families in the common house now. They were the survivors. Spring had come, and it was time for planting the crops they would need to survive. Squanto was helping the colony to plant corn and other crops. The men were hunting and trading with the natives, the Wampanoag. A glimmer of hope replaced her sad thoughts. Then a voice calling her name brought her back to the present.
5 "Priscilla," a woman called.
6 "In here," she replied, wondering who it was. She wiped her hands and turned to greet the visitor.
7 "Good morning, my dear," greeted Mrs. Brewster, coming into the kitchen area. "How are you this fine spring morning?"
8 "Hello, Mrs. Brewster. I am well, how are you?" Priscilla replied.
9 "Very well," Mrs. Brewster said, looking thoughtfully at the young lady.
10 "Is something wrong?" Priscilla asked.
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