On the last day of school everyone would go on a hike to Ragtown and have a picnic. Our teacher always made Ragtown sound like some mysterious place where munchkins may live in secret places. She would talk about Ragtown all year and tell us we could go on the last day of school. I didn’t tell her, but I was getting sort of scared and didn’t know if I really wanted to go.
The teacher gathered everyone together and we started walking up the dirt road with our lunch in a poke (bag) and excitement in our stomach. This would be a long mile and half walk up a dirt road that was in the creek part of the way. We would have to pass Old Ms. Grasses’ house and she was very scary and gruff. Her house was dark and the trees hung low over her porch. I tried to stay near Ms. Valentine as we walked past.
We got near the end of our hike and we had to walk up a steep hill and on top was a beautiful flat field and a hugh fire tower. This was Ragtown, but no one lived here and there were no houses. Ms. Valentine said people lived here many years ago. I began to think she was pulling our leg with all this Ragtown stuff.
In the center of the field was a hugh firetower. There were all kinds of metal steps that wove right to left and left to right. On top was a house with large windows and Ms. Valentine said you could see for miles. Everyone was wanting to climb the steps and go to the top. The boy’s had to prove themselves and they scampered up fast and swift to be the first to the top. I was scarred to death, but I wanted to see what was at the top. Carefully and cautiously, I went up….left to right and right to left until I was finally at the top. I could see for miles and miles and would have missed this view if I hadn’t been brave.
Coming down the steps was harder than going up and I almost wet my pants. Finally at the bottom and it is time to eat our lunch. Everyone gathered around and opened their pokes and began to eat lunch. Ms. Valentine had brought cookie for everyone too. We were talking all at once about all the fun we were having at Ragtown. Ms. Valentine just smiled and said she hoped we all had a good summer.
I wish I could have seen some of those people who may have lived in Ragtown, but I think only Ms. Valentine knew if they were ever there.