WALK TWO MOONS SHARON CREECH WINNER OF THE NEWBERY MEDAL A Face at the Window Gramps says that I am a country girl at heart, and that is true. I have lived most of my thirteen years in Bybanks, Kentucky, which is not much more than a caboodle of houses roosting in a green spot alongside the Ohio River. Just over a year ago, my father plucked me up like a weed and took me and all our belongings (no, that is not true - he did not bring the chestnut tree or the willow or the maple or the hayloft or the swimming hole or any of those things which belong to me) and we drove three hundred miles straight north and stopped in front of a house in Euclid, Ohio. 'Where are the trees?' I said. 'This is where we're going to live?' 'No,' my father said. 'This is Margaret's house.' The front door of the house opened, and Margaret, the lady with the wild red hair, stood there. I looked up and down the street. The buildings were all jammed together like a row of birdhouses In front of each one was a tiny square of grass, and in front of that was a long, long cement sidewalk running alongside the cement road. 'Where's the barn?' I asked. 'Where's the river? Where's the swimming hole?' 'Oh, Sal,' my father said. 'Come along. There's Margaret.' He waved to the lady at the door. 'We have to go back.' I said 'I forgot something. The lady with the wild red hair opened the door and came out on the porch. 'In the back of my closet.' I said, 'under the floorboards. I put something there, and I've got to have it. 'Don't be a goose,' he said. 'Come and see Margaret. I did not want to see Margaret. I stood there, looking around, and that's when I saw the face pressed up against an upstairs window next door. It was a girl's round face, and it looked afraid. I didn't know it then, but that face belonged to Phoebe Winterbottom, the girl who had a powerful imagination, who would become my friend, and who would have all those peculiar things happen to her. Not long ago, when I was locked in a car with my grandparents for six days, I told them the story of Phoebe, and when I finished telling them - or maybe even as I was telling them - I realized that the story of Phoebe was like the plaster wall in our old house in Bybanks, Kentucky. My father started chipping away at a plaster wall in the living room of our house in Bybanks, shortly after my mother left us one April morning. Our house was an old farmhouse, which my parents had been restoring, room by room. Each night, as he waited to hear from my mother, he chipped away at that wall. On the night that we got the bad news - that she was not returning - he pounded and pounded on that wall with a chisel and a hammer. At two o'clock in the morning, he came up to my room. I was not asleep. He led me downstairs and showed me what he had found. Hidden behind the wall was a brick fireplace. The reason that Phoebe's story reminds me of that plaster wail and the hidden fireplace is that beneath Phoebe's story was another one. It was about me and my own mother. 2. The Chickabiddy Starts a Story It was after all the adventures of Phoebe that my grand- parents came up with a plan to drive from Kentucky to Ohio, where they would pick me up, and then the three of us would drive two thousand miles west to Lewiston, Idaho. This is how J came to be locked in a car with them for nearly a week. It was not a trip that I was eager to go on, but it was one I had to take. Gramps had said, 'We'll see the whole ding-dong country!' Gram squeezed my cheeks and said, 'This trip will give me a chance to be with my favorite chickabiddy again.' I am, by the way, their only chickabiddy. My father said that Gram couldn't read maps worth a hill of beans and that he was grateful that I had agreed to go along and help them find their way. I was only thirteen, and although I did have a way with maps, it was not really because of that skill that I was going, nor was it to see the 'whole ding-dong country' that Gram and Gramps were going. The real reasons were buried beneath piles and piles of unsaid things. Some of the real reasons were: 1. Gram and Gramps wanted to see Momma who was resting peacefully in Lewiston. Idaho. 2. Gram and Gramps knew that I wanted to see Momma, but that I was afraid to. 3. Dad wanted to be alone with the red-hea

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