Young Air Pioneer
Comes to Grandma's House (sneak
Just Like Flying
Days in Atchison
Ferocious and the Stagecoach
State fair in Des Moines
Reads Black Beauty
The Mystery of Amelia
About the Author
Amelia Comes to
THE TRAIN WHISTLE
gave a loud, long toot. Great clouds of smoke
blew past the open train windows. Screens kept
out the cinders, not the dust and soot. But
Amelia Earhart, sitting by the window, didn't
care about the dirt. She was busy counting white
horses in the farmyards they passed.
another one," she said to Muriel, her little
sister. "That makes ten. I wonder how many
I'll see before we get there?" Muriel sat
across from Amelia, looking out the other window.
Her mother sat beside her and Mr. Earhart beside
Amelia. It was the summer of 1904, and the
Earharts were all going to visit Grandma and
Grandpa Otis. Grandpa was a judge in Atchison,
Kansas. Grandma kept a large, beautiful house.
And the cook, Lilly Bell, always had the best
raisin cake Amelia had ever tasted.
longer till we get to Atchison?" Amelia
hour," said Mr. Earhart, after looking at
his big watch. Their father always knew the
answers to train questions. He was a lawyer for
the railroad and often traveled on trains.
Suddenly, above the clicking of the
wheels, they heard the low rumble of thunder. The
summer sky was growing darker.
like a storm," Mrs. Earhart said.
said Mr. Earhart. "And this will probably
make the train arrive late in Atchison."
Just as Amelia
gave a deep sigh, the conductor came down the
aisle. He stopped to talk to Mr. Earhart. They
were old friends.
traveling for pleasure today?"
right, Mr. Wiggins. We're going visiting. I want
you to meet Mrs. Earhart. This is Amelia and this
is Muriel. But we call the girls
Melia and Pidge."
"How do you
do, Mrs. Earhart," the conductor said.
"How do you do, young ladies. We see a lot
of Mr. Earhart on this train. It's nice to meet
his family." And Mr. Wiggins gave a friendly
all here," Amelia put in. "Poor James
Ferocious has to ride in the baggage car, because
he's a dog."
bad," said Mr. Wiggins. "But don't
worry. The men up there will take good care of
him. Tell me," he went on, "where did
you get your nicknames?"
Pidge looked shy,
but Amelia said promptly, "Im named
for my Grandma Otis. Her papa called her Amelia
only when she was bad, and she didn't like it. So
she never calls me Amelia-just Melia. That's what
everyone calls me."
me Pidge," put in Muriel.
singing Little Blue
Pigeon,"Amelia explained. "So I
just call her Pidge. I wish she'd learn another
"I like to
sing Little Blue Pigeon," said
Muriel. "It's by Eugene Field. I'm going to
sing it always. Do you want to hear me?"
Amelia looked out
the window again. She didn't want to hear
"Little Blue Pigeon."
She got her wish.
Before Pidge could begin there was a flash of
lightning, followed by a loud clap of thunder.
put these windows down," Mr. Earhart said.
"Stand out in the aisle, girls." The
two men put down the heavy train windows. The
porter was also busy closing windows. Soon the
coach felt hot and airless.
tall girl, Melia," Mr. Wiggins said, as he
stepped back in the aisle. "And you stand as
straight as a soldier-just like your papa."
"I was seven
years old last month," Amelia said proudly,
"on July twenty-fourth. Pidge is only three
and a half. I'm going to stay with Grandma and
Grandpa and start school in Atchison."
"I'm going to
stay, too," Pidge echoed.
fine." Mr. Wiggins waved good-by and started
down the aisle.
Rain started to
spatter against the windows. The sky grew even
darker. "It's almost as dark as
like storms," she said aloud.
neither," Pidge said.
there's a storm when we're at Grandma's?"
Amelia put her hand into her papa's. "I'd
better go to California with you."
will begin before we come back," Mama said,
"and you won't want to miss that. Think what
a big girl you are, starting school."
care. I want to go with you. I'll miss you and
Papa too much."
you'll have such fun at Grandma's," said
Papa. "You and Pidge would get tired
traveling. It's a long trip. I have to go on
business and I want Mama to see California."
"I want to
see California too," Pidge said.
Melia can both see California when you're
older," Papa said.
see it now,"Amelia said. "I don't want
to stay in Atchison."
house is big and cool in summer," Mama
how you like to play in the old barn," Papa
flash of lightning lit up the dark sky. There was
another deep roar of thunder, and rain poured
against the windows. The train seemed to sway on
Pidge began to
sob. "I don't like this, Mama!" Her
mother put her arm around the little girl.
too much lightning," Amelia said. "Will
we have an accident?"
dont think so," Papa said. "You
mustn't be afraid, Melia. Remember our family
always tries to be brave."
"But I'm not
really brave, Papa. I'm afraid of
lightning." Amelia hid her face against her
told me about a great storm like this. He had to
travel through it when he came to Kansas before I
was born," Papa said calmly. "He and
Grandma came in a covered wagon all the way from
Pennsylvania, with eleven children."
Amelia had never
heard this story. "I'll bet they were
were. But pioneers had to face danger. They
learned to be brave. That day the rain came down
so hard it soaked the canvas and leaked into
their wagon. It was cold and the wind almost a
gale. The horses couldnt see to walk. They
had to sit in the rain and wait for the storm to
they get under a big tree?" Amelia asked.
didn't dare do that, because if lightning had
struck the tree, it might have fallen on them.
That night they had only a cold supper of
leftover corn bread. There was no dry firewood to
build a fire. Even their beds in the wagon were
about the storm. She forgot about the flashes of
lightning and crashes of thunder. She thought
only about her grandfather and grandmother,
traveling from Pennsylvania in a covered wagon.
"I wish I'd
been a pioneer. I'd like to travel in a covered
"Why, you can
be a pioneer, Melia," Papa said. "The
world is very big. There will always be new
things to do. But you must be brave enough to do
them. And courage is something you learn each
Amelia was quiet
for a few minutes. She watched the rain on the
windows run down in little rivers of water. She
watched the lightning. It lit up the whole sky as
it flashed. She listened for the loud rumble of
thunder that followed. As they passed a farm she
saw a man driving his cows back to a barn for
isnt afraid to be out in the storm,"
she thought. "And a pioneer girl
wouldnt have been frightened. She
wouldnt even have minded her papa and mama
leaving her for a trip."
Aloud she said,
"I dont think Ill be so afraid
of lightning again. And Ill stay with
Grandma and Grandpa while you go to
my big, brave girl." Mama said.
my pioneer girl," Papa said. "Im
proud of you."
Soon, the rain
fell more gently. The sky grew brighter. The
train had passed through the worst of the storm.
The door at the
end of the car opened suddenly.
Atchison!" called the conductor, as he
walked down the aisle.
time to put on your hats, girls," Mrs.
Earhart said, as she smoothed their hair.
"Papa will see about the bags and James
the new book, Amelia Earhart, Young Air
and find out!
(Return to Amelia's home page)