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Little House on the Prairie Unit Study
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Chapter 2 : Winter Days and Winter Nights

The first snow was bitter cold and Pa would spend all day in the woods setting up and checking his traps. He would check them to see whether he'd caught  any foxes, wolves or even hopefully a bear.
 
One morning Pa shot a bear.  He took the horse and the sled to help him bring it home.  The bear was standing up on his hind legs.  He was holding a pig in his paws, like like they were hands.  Pa "brought home the bacon" too.
 
If Ma wanted fresh meat for dinner, Pa just took the ax and went to the shed to chop off a chunk of frozen pork or bear meat. But if  Ma needed sausage balls, salt pork, smoked ham or venison, she could get those herself from the shed or attic (depending on what she needed to get).
 
In the mornings the windows were covered with frost.  There were beautiful pictures of trees, flowers  and fairies. Ma said that Jack Frost made these pictures while everybody slept. Laura imagined Jack Frost was a little man, who was snowy white. He wore a glittering white pointed cap, soft white kneeboots made of deerskin, a white coat, and white mittens.  He used shiny sharp tools to carve out the frosty pictures on the window panes.
 
Laura and Mary took Ma's thimble to make patterns on the frosty windows. They used their breath to melt enough of the frost to see the bare snow-covered trees outside.
 
Every morning the girls helped Ma with the dishes. They also aired the trundle bed and made the beds. They washed on Monday, ironed on Tuesday, mended on Wednesday, churned on Thursday, cleaned on Friday, baked on Saturday, and rested on Sunday.
 
Laura's favorite was churning and baking.
 
Ma liked the table to look pretty so she colored the butter in the winter since the cream looked too white in the winter.  So Ma grated carrot and put it in a cloth bag with hot milk.  She squeezed out the carrot milk into the cream, which colored the butter.  The carrot milk was evenly divided between the girls.
 
Ma churned butter and Mary could help. Laura couldn't help -the dash was too heavy for her.  Ma took the cover off and the butter was floating in the buttermilk.  Then the butter was salted. The best part of churning was when Ma molded the butter into the shape of a strawberry and two strawberry leaves.
 
On Saturdays, Ma made bread.  She gave each of the girls their own dough to make a little loaf.
 
When the day's work was done, Ma  made paper dolls.  She drew their faces with pencil. She used colored paper to make  dresses, hats, ribbons, laces to dress them beautifully.
 
When Pa came home was the best time.  He would pretend to be a  wild dog and play with the girls. He'd let them get scared by making his hair look crazy and making growling noises and pouncing toward the girls. Sometimes Ma would get annoyed but the girls liked to get scared.
 
Ma sewed by the kerosene lamp. There was salt in the bottom of the lamp to keep it from exploding. 
 
Pa played "Yankee Doodle" on the fiddle and then told them a story.  It was the "Story of Grandpa and the Panther."