Little House on the Prairie

La familia pasa por un lago congelado en su viaje hacia el oeste. El clásico de Laura Ingalls, Little House on the Prairie…

Ma and Laura and Mary ate bread and molasses in the wagon, and the horses ate corn from nose-bags, while inside the store Pa traded his furs for things they would need on the journey. They could not stay long in the town, because they must cross the lake that day.
The enormous lake stretched flat and smooth and white all the way to the edge of the gray sky. Wagon tracks went away across it, so far that you could not see where they went; they ended in nothing at all.
Pa drove the wagon out onto the ice, following those wagon tracks. The horses' hoofs clop-clopped with a dull sound, the wagon wheels went crunching. The town grew smaller and smaller behind, till even the tall store was only a dot. All around the wagon there was nothing but empty and silent space. Laura didn't like it. But Pa was on the wagon-seat and Jack was under the wagon; she knew that nothing could hurt her while Pa and Jack were there.
At last the wagon was pulling up a slope of earth again, and again there were trees. There was a little log house, too, among the trees. So Laura felt better.
Nobody lived in the little house; it was a place to camp in. It was a tiny house, and strange, with a big fireplace and rough bunks against all the walls. But it was warm when Pa had built a fire in the fireplace. That night Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie slept with Ma in a bed made on the floor before the fire, while Pa slept outside in the wagon, to guard it and the horses.

In the night a strange noise wakened Laura. It sounded like a shot, but it was sharper and longer than a shot. Again and again she heard it. Mary and Carrie were asleep, but Laura couldn't sleep until Ma's voice came softly through the dark. "Go to sleep, Laura," Ma said. "It's only the ice cracking." Next morning Pa said, "It's lucky we crossed yesterday, Caroline. Wouldn't wonder if the ice broke up today. We made a late crossing, and we're lucky it didn't start breaking up while we were out in the middle of it."
"I thought about that yesterday, Charles," Ma replied, gently.
Laura hadn't thought about it before, but now she thought what would have happened if the ice had cracked under the wagon wheels and they had all gone down into the cold water in the middle of that vast lake.
"You're frightening somebody, Charles," Ma said, and Pa caught Laura up in his safe, big hug.
"We're across the Mississippi!" he said, hugging her joyously. "How do you like that, little half-pint of sweet cider half-drunk up? Do you like going out west where Indians live?"
Laura said she liked it, and she asked if they were in the Indian country now. But they were not; they were in Minnesota… (Paragraphs from Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls, chapter 1)

Vocabulario
Papoose
Papoose
Molasses: a dark viscous syrup obtained during the refining of sugar (Melaza)
Indian country es cualquier comunidad nativa americana con gobierno propio a través de los Estados Unidos. Como categoría legal incluye toda tierra dentro de los límites de cualquier reservación indígena.

Para saber
Little House on the Prairie fue escrita por Laura Ingalls Wilder basada en su niñez en el norte del Midwest de Estados Unidos durante 1870 y 1880. Está narrado en tercera persona con Laura Ingalls como el personaje central. La hija de Laura, Rose, asistió a su madre con la edición de los trabajos.
La serie de libros ha permanecido en impresión continuamente desde su publicación en 1930. Son considerados clásicos de la literatura para niños norteamericana.

Artículos relacionados
La pequeña casa en la pradera, algunos párrafos en castellano.

Fuentes
Little House on the Prairie, from Wikipedia.

Un interesante cuento para leer esta noche, de Stephen Crane: The Blue Hotel