Sunday, August 21, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Ma Ingalls

I have read the Little House on Prairie books since I was 11 years old and Ma's words still ring clear and true. Ma was a resourceful, gentle, loving, and practical woman. I have complied a list of some of her best sayings.

Ma was trembling, and she began to laugh a little.  "To think," she said, "I've slapped a bear."  (Little House in the Big Woods, Two Big Bears Chapter.)

"If wisdom's way you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care.
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where." (Little Town on the Prairie, The School Board's Visit Chapter.)

Ma used to say,
"Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday." (Little House in the Big Woods, Winter Days Chapter.)

"This earthly life is a battle," said Ma. "If it isn't one thing to contend with, it's another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and the more thankful for your pleasures." (Little Town on the Prairie, Blackbirds Chapter.)

"You may be well prepared to teach school and still not be a schoolteacher, but if you are not prepared, it's certain that you won't be." (Little Town on the Prairie, Unexpected in April.)

"I believe you can, Laura," Ma said. "Do not be excited or frightened. There is no occasion to be. Just pretend that it is a school examination and you will be all right." (Little Town on the Prairie, Unexpected in December.)

"Laura, Laura," Ma protested in distress. "How can you be so unforgiving? That was years ago." (Little Town on the Prairie, The School Board's Visit Chapter.)

Ma said to Laura that Mary would be at home to stay when she finished college, and it might be that she would never have another opportunity to travel. It was nice that she could have this pleasant time and make so many new friends while she was young. "She will have it to remember," Ma said. (These Happy Golden Years, Nellie Oleson chapter.)

Who gets this shawl? Pa asked, and they all said, "Ma!" Such a beautiful shaw was for Ma, of course. Pa laid it her arm, and it was like her, so soft and yet firm and well-wearing, with the fine, bright colors in it. "We will all take turns wearing it," Ma said."And Mary shall take it with her when she goes to college." (The Long Winter, The Christmas Barrel chapter.)

Please feel free to add your favorite quotes.

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