affectedly dainty or refined
The flower garden is
prim, the house a gleaming white, and the pale fence across the yard stands straight and spruce.
someone who is incapacitated by a chronic illness or injury
It was bad enough having an
invalid for a brother, but having one who possibly was not all there was unbearable, so I began to make plans to kill him by smothering him with a pillow.
weight to be borne or conveyed
He was a
burden in many ways.
be lazy or idle
We’d bedeck ourselves with our handiwork and
loll about thus beautiful, beyond the touch of the everyday world.
in a manner showing a brooding ill humor
“I won’t touch it,” he said
close in time; about to occur
With success so
imminent, we decided not to tell anyone until he could walk.
extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact
Aunt Nicey said that, after so much talk, if we produced anything less
tremendous than a Resurrection, she was going to be disappointed.
varying in color when seen in different lights
When Peter was ready to go to sleep, the peacock spread his magnificent tail, enfolding the boy gently like a closing go-to-sleep flower, burying him in the gloriously
iridescent, rustling vortex.
a powerful circular current of water
When Peter was ready to go to sleep, the peacock spread his magnificent tail, enfolding the boy gently like a closing go-to-sleep flower, burying him in the gloriously iridescent, rustling
not agitated; without losing self-possession
Of course, I was old enough to know this wouldn’t work out, but the picture he painted was so beautiful and
serene that all I could do was whisper Yes, yes.
affected by something that prevents growth or prosperity
That summer, the summer of 1918, was
lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
In May and June there was no rain and the crops
withered, curled up, then died under the thirsty sun.
to say, state, or perform again
“I certainly did,” Doodle
reiterated, scowling at me over the top of his iced-tea glass, and we were quiet again.
frown with displeasure
“I certainly did,” Doodle reiterated,
scowling at me over the top of his iced-tea glass, and we were quiet again.
marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
Doodle stopped eating, with a piece of brad
poised ready for his mouth, his eyes popped round like two blue buttons.
in a manner affording no ease or reassurance
On the topmost branch a bird the size of a chicken, with scarlet feathers and long legs, was perched
censure severely or angrily
Far off in the marsh a rail was
scolding, and over on the beach locusts were singing in the myrtle trees.
I hadn’t run too far before I became tired and the flood of childish spite
evanesced as well.
a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion
For a long long time, it seemed forever, I lay there crying, sheltering my fallen scarlet ibis from the
heresy of rain.
incapable of failure or error
Once I had succeeded in teaching Doodle to walk, I began to believe in my own infallibility
He, too, now believed in my infallibility, so we set the deadline for these accomplishments less than a year away, when, it had been decided, Doodle could start school.