A Tale of Two Jo's
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#1: A Tale of Two Jo's Author: Secret SantaLocation: The North Pole PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:23 am
I apologies for not sending you much this Advent Fiona, but I have been very busy. I hope this will make up for it.

Also, Mods, apologies for spreeing but I wasn't sure if there was a limit to the length of posts.

Joey Bettany lay on the sofa tucked up in a rug. It was almost Christmas and she had caught yet another cold, causing her to cough at the slightest movement. She had been hoping to make her Forms Netball Team at the High School this year, but this beastly cold had put paid to that. And so she lay gloomily staring out of window at the miserable Devonshire Weather, wishing that she could be somewhere else.

Her quick ears caught the sound of footsteps on the landing, seconds before the door opened to reveal her older sister, Madge.

“How are you doing, Joey-baba?”

Joey snorted in disgust, setting off another coughing fit, which was only abated after Madge had poured her a glass of juice and sat rubbing her small sister’s back whilst Joey sipped at the drink.

“Sorry old thing.” Joey murmured, raising apologetic eyes to her sisters. “But this weather just makes me feel all wrong. It’s nearly Christmas, I can’t help feeling there should be snow, not this everlasting rain.”

“I know, baby.” Madge replied with a sigh, “It’s been a hard year, and next year may be even harder.” her thoughts going to their ill guardian. “But we’ll manage somehow.”

“Will we, Madgie Machree?” Joey asked, hope glinting in her eyes.

“We will.” Madge asserted, “And now it’s time for your medicine.”

Joey pulled a face. “Oh, must I? It’s a horrible flavour.”

“That means it’s doing you good.” Madge replied with a little smile. “Then you can try to have a little nap.”

“I’d rather read…?” pleaded Joey.

“Only for a quarter-of-an-hour.” Madge agreed. “But then I’m coming up to put the light out.”

“Okay Mother, I’ll be good.” Joey responded slangily before downing the medicine, curling up tighter underneath the rug and burying her face deeper into her book, but the words blurred before her eyes, and the book slipped from her grasp before she realised.


Jo was pelting along the lane, late as usual. Marmee had been at the Soldiers Hospital all day and would be home soon, but Jo wanted to make sure that the surprise that she had planned with her three sisters was ready for when their Mother arrived.

“But that wretched Aunt March had to lecture me about my hair.” she muttered to herself as she sped down the lane.

It really was unfair being lectured so, she thought. It wasn’t her fault that Polly had decided that he would perch on top of one the standard lamps, and then refuse to come down. So that Jo had had to stand on a chair to try and rescue him, and then, just as she was about to grab him, he had flown off, upsetting Jo who had come down with a bang.

“And I so wanted to work some more on my Book.” she exhaled rebelliously as she wrenched the door open, threw off her wrap, and ran to collect her knitting. If only she could get the book published, then maybe they could have presents for Christmas like they used to….

Last edited by Secret Santa on Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:26 am; edited 1 time in total

#2:  Author: Secret SantaLocation: The North Pole PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:24 am
Joey was cold, and little wonder, she thought as she gazed round on the snow that surrounded her.

So astounded was she by the landscape, that she didn’t notice that she was not coughing, which was a wonder for, as Joey had once ruefully remarked, “I only have to look at a picture of a polar bear, and I cough!”.

“Well, I’ll be gumswizzled!” she exclaimed as she realised.

Just at that moment, she noticed a small chalet in the distance. “Oh, how topping, it’s just like the ones at the Tiernsee.” she murmured, as she ran up to the building which had brought back fond memories of a distant family holiday. “But it seems to be empty.” as she peered in the windows. “I wonder if there’s anyone in one of the other rooms.”

For Joey, to think was to act, and so she impetuously pushed open the door. A thorough investigation revealed that no-one was there, but as she had nothing to do, or no-where to go. She sat down at the table, feeling that she waiting for something, but unsure as to what…


“Good night, My Beth.” Jo replied to her sisters words. It had been a busy day since Jo had returned home. Although they had decided not to have presents for Christmas this year. The March girls had decided that they would still decorate the house, and so Jo had been cutting holly and mistletoe from the garden (with little regard to her dress, which she had later had to mend) and then perching on chairs to fix it around the doorways.

All their effort had been worth it when Marmee had arrived home. She had exclaimed with delight over the greenery, and over the jolly coloured fabrics (the girls old party sashes) which Amy had so artfully draped around the room. Meg and Beth had contributed by mending some small rents in the cushion covers and by giving the parlour an extra thorough cleaning.

“Oh, I am so lucky to have such wonderful girls!” She exclaimed, and then, looking round at their hopeful faces. “I’m sorry, but there is no letter from Father today. But I have hopes that one will arrive tomorrow.” And with that they have to be satisfied.

Still, thought Jo later, as she lay abed. I do hope that he’s alright.

#3:  Author: Secret SantaLocation: The North Pole PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:24 am
Joey was startled from her reverie by the sudden realisation that there was a tall, chestnut-haired girl sitting opposite her.

“Hullo!” she exclaimed. “Who are you? And where did you spring from?”

Jo raised her eyebrows, although she was as boyish as she could get away with, she could be extremely haughty when she chose, and she chose now, in the face of what seemed like impertinence from a little girl.

“I am Miss Josephine Mary March, and kindly address me with resp…”

She wasn’t allowed to finish, as Joey burst in - “Oh, but I’m a Josephine Mary as well. Josephine Mary Bettany. That’s a rum coincidence.”

Joey’s obvious friendliness broke down the haughty Miss March’s barriers, and soon they were chattering like old friends, discussing their mutual love of books, and their ambitions in the way of writing. Eventually though, even these fascinating subjects were exhausted, and they sat silently.

The door suddenly blew open, and though no-one entered, the blast of wintry air set Joey coughing, which sent Jo flying to find a glass of water, which she handed to the younger girl once the coughing fit was over.

“Thank you.” Joey said, very properly, although she struggled to find the breath as she lay against the back of the seat, her face white.

“My sister Beth sometimes has bad coughing fits if she catches cold. I do tend to worry about her, especially when she coughs. We miss her singing.”

Joey grinned impishly. “I’m not sure about my singing, but I know Madge worries like Billy-O when I cough.”


“My elder sister.” Joey looked pensive. “She’s worrying all the time now. We’ve been orphaned since I was a baby, and now our Guardian’s ill. I don’t know what we’ll do if he dies.” Involuntarily, she buried herself deeper into Jo’s arms, which she had put about the younger girl.

“Marmee’s always worried as well. Although I suppose it’s understandable. There’s four of us, and Father’s away fighting in the war.” She hesitated. “But she always reminds us that Father is a Man of God, and that God will look after him, and us, if we only ask him and try to live our lives right, and try to help others live their lives right.”

Joey looked up wonderingly. “I’ve never thought of it like that. I mean, I go to church sometimes, but I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it that way. I try, but I suppose as I don’t get to a service every week I forget about it.” She looked up into the shining eyes of the elder girl. “Madge doesn’t like taking me in case the Church is too cold.”

“Just so long as you talk to Him, and try to overcome your faults. He’ll help you.” Jo said with such conviction that Joey was rendered speechless, and when she tried to speak, a great yawn interrupted her.

“Hi-yah… I’m tired.”

“Then sleep, Joey. I’ll watch over you.”

“Good, and I say… Thank you Jo.”

“And Thank You.” Jo murmured quietly, but Jo was already sleeping.


Whether either girl remembered their meeting, I don’t know. But it is on record that Joey Bettany felt much closer to God than she had in the past, and that Jo March never again took for granted her family, realising that there were some who had much less than she, so who can tell.

#4:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:38 am
Thanks Santa Very Happy .

#5:  Author: FatimaLocation: Sunny Qatar PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:19 pm
Lovely thanks Santa.

#6:  Author: PaulineSLocation: West Midlands PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 8:39 pm
How much they had in common. I love the way you have woven their stories together. Thank you.

#7:  Author: DawnLocation: Leeds, West Yorks PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2007 5:54 pm
That was lovely - thankyou Santa

#8:  Author: Fiona McLocation: Bendigo, Australia PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:07 am
Oh Santa, that was wonderful. Thank you so much for the drabble. I love Little Women.

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