(Circa April 2010)
My friend asked me to write a paper for her it was about the day in the life of a slave, and i kind of got carried away, I hope you enjoy it.
The sun sets over the big house, and it’s time to wake the children and begin the day’s work. It’s the end of the spring which means the days in the field will be longer and the work will be more grueling. I have to teach the children to stay mindful of their tasks during this season. They are so easily taken away by the bugs, and the singing of the birds. The Master’s Mistress loves to see them playing but as soon as the Master hits the porch; they scatter just like the flies in the barn. Today was a special day for us in the field. Master was throwing his annual Summer Cotillion tonight and everyone from far and wide are coming to be a part of the happenings. This meant we hard to work extra hard to have the fields mined and the yard and the house in entertaining shape. What’s even more special about it this year my daughter Annabelle would be serving in the house for the first time. I have been working on a dress for her for about a month, she will love it.
The day seemed to go on forever. Piece by piece we tore down the sugar cane, and pulled so much cotton we almost could not carry it all by ourselves. The sun finally set on the field and the time was almost near. Master came to the porch, calling me in to begin to prepare the food for the children and the Cotillion. Before I ran in I grabbed Annabelle and showed her into the barn where I had been hiding her dress. Her eyes lit up like fireflies. In my mind and her’s she would be the most beautiful girl in the room. As I reached the steps of the house the Master was waiting there for me, with an angry hand. He struck me across my face, so hard I fell to the ground. I felt my face immediately begin to throb. As I looked up immediately wiping the blood from face, he looked down at me, snarling “Next time I call for you, don’t you make me wait.” He turned away from me and enters the house, holding the door, making sure that I was right behind him. I entered the kitchen and immediately began cooking. I loved to cook. Something about the way the food made people feel always brought me so much joy. Even though I was doing something I actually enjoyed for once, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. My face was still throbbing, but it was worth it. Taking that minute to give my daughter that gift, and the look on her face when she saw it, was more than worth the time away from Master’s call. I would do it a hundred times if I could, but if I did it that many times, I would probably end up dead. As I took the last pan of cornbread out of the oven, the guest began to arrive and there was my Annabelle, standing like a lady, with her ribbon in her hair. She stood out in that crowd, not because she was a slave, or because she was serving drinks, but because was radiant. My little girl was becoming a woman right before my eyes. The Master even caught eyes with her for a moment. I hated the way he looked at her, but at least he wasn’t hitting her. My little angel was lighting up the room.
The moonlight shined over the field sending everyone in the fields, and as Master’s party ended, ours began. Mistress gathered all the scraps from the Cotillion and gave them to me and along with a tray of cornbread and honey that I had stashed; I head back to the camp to share my goods with everyone. John Boy had begun on his fiddle, playing that song that I loved. The song that he was playing the day I met Jim Paul, if he could only be here to see our little girl all grown up and in the Master’s house, he would be so proud. I laid out the food on the table by the fire where Master usually puts our food; I looked over to see Annabelle dancing away to John Boy’s song, along with some other folks from the camp. Even though we were slaves, and living day to day was a struggle, knowing that one day our children, if not our children’s children would be free made the fight worthwhile. That night we feasted of the remainders of the feast at the Master’s house. The smiles were almost as big as everyone’s stomachs. We laughed, sang, and danced until the fire burned out. It was a good night indeed. We made the most of it knowing that we wouldn’t get a chance like this again until next year’s Cotillion. I tucked in the children and kissed them all on the foreheads. I sometimes felt they were all mine, even though the lord and Jim Paul only gave me my Annabelle. I was still thankful. I rushed myself to bed knowing that soon the sun would be rising again and I would be back in the field. I said my prayers, closed my eyes and waited for the sun