The Little House Collection

Carolyn Robbins memories

We think back on memories of childhood and remember the stories that were read. The Little House collection honors a few of those stories...


Step back in time and relive a pioneer adventure. Listen to the words Laura wrote about life on the prairie, and let your imagination soar.


A migration across the American frontier. A vivid description of the landscape, homes and towns through four seasons of each year. The story of one family and a dog named Jack.


Growing up during a time of trials and tribulations, and the joy of new beginnings. The Little House Collection pays tribute to a little girl who was a part of our childhood memories.


“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder


Meet Laura Elizabeth, the preview bear for this collection. In an excerpt from the book West from Home, Laura writes...


At Lands End I had my first view of the Pacific Ocean. To say it is beautiful does not half express it.it is simply beyond words. The water is such a deep wonderful blue and the sound of he waves breaking on the beach and their whisper as they flow back is something to dream about…
 
We went down on the beach where the waves were breaking. There were crowds of people there and some of them were wading. I wanted to wade. Rose said she never had but she would, so we took off our shoes and stockings and left them on he warm sand…and went out to meet the waves. A little one rolled in and covered our feet, the next one came and reached our ankles… and just as I was saying how delightful, the big one came and went above our knees. I just had time to snatch my skirts up and save them and the wave went back with a pull…
 
we went nearer the shore and dug holes in the sand with our toes. Went out to meet the waves and ran back before the big one caught us and had such a good time. The salt water tingled my feet and made them feel so good all the rest of the day, and just to think, the same water that bathes the shores of China and Japan came clear across the ocean and bathed my feet. In other words I have bathed my feet in the Pacific Ocean.
 
Laura Elizabeth can be adopted from the Bear Shop.
 
Meet Amelia (Mary's middle name). In an excerpt from These Happy Golden Years, Laura remembers...


Sunday afternoon was clear, and the snow-covered prairie sparkled in the sunshine. A little wind blew gently from the south, but it was so cold that the sled runners squeaked as they slid on the hard-packed snow. The horses' hoofs made a dull sound, clop, clop, clop. Pa did not say anything. Sitting beside him on the board laid across the bobsled, Laura did not say anything either. There was nothing to say. She was on her way to teach school.
 
Amelia can be adopted from the Bear Shop.
 
Charlotte (Laura's grandmother's name). This bear was inspired by the first train ride Laura, her sisters and Mother took. In the book By the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura wrote...


The train was coming, louder. They stood by the satchels on the platform and saw it coming. Laura did not know how they could get the satchels on the train.  Ma's hands were full, and Laura had to hold onto Mary. The engine's round front window glared in the sunshine like a huge eye.


The smokestack flared upward to a wide top, and black smoke rolled up from it. A sudden streak of white shot up through the smoke, then the whistle screamed a long wild scream. The roaring thing came rushing straight at them all, swelling bigger and bigger, enormous, shaking everything with noise.


Then the worst was over. It had not hit them; it was roaring by them on thick big wheels. Bumps and crashes ran along the freight cars and flat cars an they stopped moving. The train was there, and they had to get into it.
Charlotte can be adopted from the Bear Shop.


Ingalls is the family's name and the bear was inspired by the story in the Long Winter.


Mary and Carrie took turns at the coffee mill that must never stop grinding. Ma made the bread and swept and cleaned and fed the fire. In the lean-to Laura and Pa twisted hay till their cold hands could not hold the hay to twist it and must be warmed at the stove. The hay-fire could not keep the cold out of the kitchen, but close to the stove the air was warm.
 
Ingalls can be adopted from the Bear Shop.
 
In the book Little House on the Prairie, Laura tells us what their new home looked like and remembers their evenings.


They were all happy that night. The fire on the hearth was pleasant, for on the High Prairie even the summer nights were cool. The red checked cloth was on he table, the little china woman glimmered on the mantle-shelf, and the new floor was golden in the flickering firelight. Outside, the night was large and full of stars, Pa sat for a long time in the doorway and played his fiddle and sang to Ma and Mary and Laura in the house and to the starry night outside.
 
Laura can be adopted from the Bear Shop.
 
Laura wrote The Farmer Boy to tell Almanzo's story. A memory of the calves he raised...


Star and Bright were young calves, not yet a year old. Their little horns had only begun to grow hard in the soft hair by their ears. Almanzo scratched around the little horns, because calves like that. They pushed their moist, blunt noses between the bars, and licked with their rough tongues. Almanzo took two carrots from the cows' feed-box, and snapped little pieces off them, and fed the pieces one by one to Star and Bright.
 
Manly can be adopted from the Bear Shop.
 
Mary endured blindness for most of her life and in the Little Town on the Prairie book, Laura wrote about Mary's going away to college.


Pa and Ma were greatly pleased with the college. They said it was a fine place, a large brick building. Mary would be warm and comfortable in it when winter came. She would have good food, and she was with a crowd of pleasant girls… She was going to study political economy, and literature, and higher mathematics, and sewing, knitting, beadwork and music. Laura was so glad for Mary that she could almost forget the lonesome ache of missing her.

Mary can be adopted from the Bear Shop.

In the First Four Years we read about Laura's new life after marriage and the birth of her daughter. Rose was inspired by this memory.


And so on Thursday, the twenty-fifth of August, at ten o'clock in the morning, the quick-stepping brown horses and the buggy with the shining top flashed round the corner at Pierson's livery bar, came swiftly over the half mile, and drew up at the door of the little claim house…Her wedding dress was the new black cashmere she had thought would be so serviceable, for a married woman should have a black dress.
 
The preacher lived on his homestead two miles away and it seemed to Laura the longest drive she had ever taken, and yet it was over all too soon. Once in the front room, the ceremony was quickly performed. Laura and Manly were married for better or worse, for richer or poorer.
 
When Laura opened her eyes, the lamp was still shining brightly over the room, and Ma was bending over her with the doctor standing beside her. And in the bed by her side was a little warm bundle.

Rose can be adopted from the Bear Shop.

The following bears have already been adopted, but complete the story.

Laura writes lovingly about her parents in each of the books. Her father would bring music to the family...


Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the firelight gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle.

Her Mother was a hard working lady as she cared for her family.


Laura looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting. She was glad for the cost house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight, and the music.

In these Golden Years, Laura remembers her courtship...

Careful of the lantern," was all that Almanzo said as he helped her into the cutter. Several horse blankets were spread over the seat, and on their ends, under the fur buffalo robes, a lantern stood burning to warm the nest for Laura's feet…
 
Not until she had thanked him nicely and said good night and was in the sitting room taking off her wraps, did she remember that he had not said, "Good night." He had not said, "I'll see you Sunday afternoon," as he had always said before. He had said "Good-by." Of course, she thought, it was good-by. This had been the last sleigh ride.

 

 

 

 

 

And Laura remembers her first school days in On the Banks of Plum Creek...

The schoolhouse was a room made of new boards. It's ceiling was the underneath of shingles, like the attic ceiling. Long benches stood one behind another down the middle of the room. They were made of planed boards. Each bench had a back, and two shelves stuck out from the back, over the bench behind.. Only the front bench did not have any shelves in front of it, and the last bench did not have any back.

 



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