Sadie picked at the old scab on her baby toe. She hated wearing the black patent leather
church shoes because the seam rubbed her baby toe something awful. But Big Mama insisted
that all the girls look their best on Sunday. Every resident in the Orphan Girls Boarding School
had the same blue dress and pair of shiny shoes.

Sadie continued to pick her toe, wincing at the flicker of pain with each pull. She was
upset today because Big Momma chastised her in front of the whole church yesterday, just for
talking to a boy. She didn’t even bother to get the details. She just assumed they were up to no

She watched a line of ants cross the broken concrete step below her until the shadow fell
and took the light. She looked up and squinted at Big Momma’s darkened face.
“I’m sorry, baby, for hurting your feelings yesterday. It just don’t feel right having you
mad at me. I baked some sweet potato pone and saved you a big corner, seeing as you like it so
much.” Her round eyes searched Sadie’s.

In a flood of fierce love, Sadie hopped up and grabbed her thick neck. She pressed her
nose against the rose scented flesh. Of course, she would forgive Big Mama. This was home,
right here in her big fleshy arms.