“Do you think those birds are going to talk to you?” Mama Nina asked Sparrow as she dragged a satchel of herbs and healing ointments onto the hacienda patio.
“Oh, let me help you, Mama.” Sparrow took one look at her mother’s slumped shoulders and realized she must never consider leaving her and joining the nuns. She needed to protect Mama from Papa’s treachery.
“It was a long walk home. I stopped to gather more acorns for our supplies. Then, with a heavier load, it felt like a longer walk,” Mama Nina said.
“Señora Tenorio should have carried something for you.” Sparrow lifted the bundle from her mother’s arms.
“I was the one who stopped to collect more,” Mama Nina said. “The more we have, the more we struggle. You should remember that.”
That evening, Sparrow was determined to make her mother comfortable in their cabin. She replaced the herbs and medicines on Mama’s shelves. She lined up all the supplies on one side of the cabin. Mama Nina did not know how to write, so Sparrow made notes to identify the jars Mama reused from Señora Tenorio’s used jams and precious ointments. On the opposite wall of the cabin was a mat of several blankets where Mama slept.
“Come, use this cot.” Sparrow smoothed a blanket for Mama over her own cot. “You will be warmer and more comfortable.”
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