The other day I was sitting in front of my computer, minding my own business, trying to do anything at all except the things I was supposed to be doing, and I happened across an article that caught my attention.
The headline read "Scarlet Fever Probably Didn't Blind Mary Ingalls."
So I clicked over and read more.
The article went on to use phrases like "creative liberties" and "changed during editing" and "used a more familiar ailment that readers had heard of."
But all I saw was "LAURA LIED!!!" and I felt an overwhelming sense of betrayal.
I can't remember how old I was the first time I read The Little House on the Prairieseries, maybe seven or so, but I remember that I read it over and over and over. I loved Laura with all my heart (ok, secretly I loved Mary just a little bit more. She was just so GOOD) and I fancied us to be friends. Best friends. And best friends don't lie to each other, do they?
Except apparently they do. Because Mary's blindness wasn't caused by scarlet fever. Further internet research confirmed this. Scarlet fever doesn't even cause blindness.
And it made me wonder what else Laura had been lying to me about all these years.
Maybe Jack was really a cat. A dog was used for "creative license."
Maybe Nellie Olsen was really a sweet, nice girl. But every story needs a villain, right?
Maybe Carrie was a boy.
Maybe Mr. Edwards and Pa were more than friends and that's why Ma didn't like him much.
I mean, WHO REALLY KNOWS?!? It's just AN EDITING THING, right!?!?!
I texted Natalie with my newfound knowledge. She is also a
She refused to even entertain the thought that Laura had lied to us
It also send me down the deep, dark Google-hole of facts about the Ingalls family - facts that weren't available to my internet-less seven year old self who learned to love Laura and her family based solely on the the words on the pages of her books.
I found out all kinds of interesting tidbits, like Pa was a town constable at one point, and Laura taught school before receiving her teaching certificate, which is not at all what the books say. Also, many of the characters in the books are composites of many different people. Oh, and it is widely accepted that Rose, Laura's daughter wrote all or at least some of the books.
After I read that last part, I shut my Macbook with a little more force than necessary and loaded the entire Little House seriesonto my nook. I decided right then to re-read all the books, and to believe them for what they were, which are wonderful stories that take me back to my childhood when life was simple and you really could believe anything you read.
Oh, and I decided to forgive Laura.
Because that's what friends do.
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