By Madeleine E. Robins
5,003 words · 19-minute reading time

Small house on an autumn’s day

Photo by Scott Webb via Unsplash.

From the author: A spinster adopts a very unusual child: a story about the different ways love can come -- and go, and what it leaves behind.

Tannesburg was too small to have an orphanage. When the hired man from Sarah Eamon’s place found a baby swaddled tightly in grimy cloth and propped against a tree at the edge of Miss Eamon’s property, he brought it with him into town and left it with the doctor. And although the village was not yet connected to the new telephone line, Tannesburg had an efficient grapevine, and Miss Eamons had heard all about the foundling and the way it had squalled, tucked under Pete Hargill’s arm like a laundry bundle, long before Pete returned to work the next day.Then Sarah called at the doctor’s house, justifying her curiosity with a sense of responsibility: Had not the baby been abandoned beneath her elm tree for anyone to find?

Mrs. Pratt, the doctor’s wife, ushered Sarah upstairs to the second best bedroom to see “the little stranger,” hastily accommodated in a makeshift crib. Mrs. Pratt went on about the child in nursery-room whispers, her voice squeezed high and girlish from her...

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  • John Schmidt
    April 17, 7:16pm

    Thank you for this lovely story.

  • Madeleine Robins
    April 18, 12:51am

    Thank you for letting me know you liked it!