By CAROLE DAVIS
May I have the pleasure of introducing each of you to Little Miss Abigail. She is a cute, precious, adorable girl who will never grow up! She is very cute, clever, keen-witted, shrewd and ingenious. She is very attractive, pretty, quaint and just darling. Abigail is very worthy of anyone's passionate attachment, and I love Little Miss Abigail very much!
Just her name, Abigail is extra-special indicating that she is an exceptionally good and fine young lady. Abigail was a character in “The Scornful Lady” by Beaumont and Fletcher. You might say that she possesses what we call, “personality plus!”
Abigail has whimsicality and all of the qualities or state of being very whimsical. She will suddenly decide to do something on a whim, and she is definitely capricious, uncertain and liable to change her mind on a dime. I would say she is fantastic, fanciful, odd and quaint all rolled up into one little girl. She will decide to do something suddenly as she takes a fancy that the something is wild and fun. She dares to go ahead and try the impossible thing in this life, and this makes her capricious, humorous, fanatic and her ideas often seem far-fetched. Maybe she is predictable, or maybe she is unpredictable. I shall let you decide.
Abigail is sassy, imprudent and cheeky, (just look at her cheeks right now. They are so cute!) which makes her very bold, lively and stylish. She loves sassy tunes and loves to skip and dance around all day long! She loves bright, wild colors and wears sassy clothes and hats. She adores wearing bows tied in her tight, curly black hair.
A long time ago, I met and fell head over heels with Little Miss Abigail. The year was 1996, and she just walked into my life one day. Every one of us wishes we would and could be Abigail ... Could we not? Why not right now this very second be Abigail? She is not a clone of another human being, because she is just always herself. She will never grow up. Why grow up anyway? Abigail will stay just as she lives today on her tiny, 8-by-10 piece of cotton canvas. She lives on a tiny easel that sits on our floor of our big 'ole kitchen in our family home. Every time I pass by Abigail, and I glance downward at the floor, she suddenly looks right up at me and winks. She truly does this, and then I smile, giggle and finally laugh out loud. Inside my heart and soul, I whisper back at her and say, “Hey, Abigail you got it going, on girl!”
One early morning I decided to take Abigail for a ride in my car with me. We had some errands we had to run, and off to Wal-Mart we went. The first thing we got was one of those squeaky buggies, and I put her in the front of the big basket. Up and down the isles we began to shop all over Wal-Mart with our loud squeaky buggy with every roll the wheels made, and there she was right in the front of the basket. We spoke to everyone saying, “Good Morning! How are y'all doing this fine morning?” We looked at a cute dress that might just fit Abigail, and we checked out the new bows that might match her pink dress. We even found a darling and very cute hat for her to wear too. We finally went to the check-out counter and headed outside to my car. I said, “Where in the world did we park, Abigail?” She said, “There is your car and I see it way over by the basket holders on section number 8 row.” We finally parked our squeaky basket cart, got into the car, fastened our seat belts and headed out of the parking lot making our way to the Starkville Post Office to mail a letter or two.
Off we headed towards Main Street down town Starkville. Our car took us around the big First Methodist Church. “My own great-grandaddy built one of the four Methodist Churches in town,” I said to Abigail, “past Mugshots, our big Oktibbeha County Courthouse, both the old and new one.” We decided to pull into the Book Mart on Main Street. We got out and went inside to get a chocolate chip cookie and a cold Coke in a can. We glanced at the latest children's books, and I said, “Want to get a 'Fancy Nancy' book, Abigail? Let's look and see if we can find a special book just for you.”
We headed back to our parked car, cranked it up and headed past Starkville Cafe and spotted Shirley, Rene, Liz and Joyce inside by the front door. They are the main waitresses, cook and assistant manager. “Want to come back to the cafe for lunch in an hour or so, Abigail? I think they are having chicken and dumplings, salad, corn on the cob, banana pudding and sweet tea today. Let's pull into the Starkville library. We have just enough time to take in the children's story hour this morning.”
We made our rounds to Kim's Hallmark Store to pick our a special card for a sick friend of mine, and we flip over to Haze Allsup's The Flower Company. “Hey, Haze. How is it going with you today? We are going to bring in a boring straw hat of mine so that you can give it some ‘Pizazz' with some of our colorful ribbons,” I said. “Remember that cute big glass frog that I bought last week from you? Well, ‘she' has on the cutest printed flower cotton hat tied underneath her fat frog chin! Guess where I put her?” She sits on the tip top of the back brick step leading into my downstairs art studio back porch area, and we named her 'Cutie Pie!'”
We then went back to our car and started down University Drive. I turned and said, “Want to just cruise on out to the Mississippi State University campus, Abigail?" We enter the campus proper when we go through the one last standing brick columns, and we know we are here at MSU. We pass by the Bost Extension Center and on toward the Davis Wade Football Stadium glancing up at the large screened photos of our football players, on around the old MSU Post Office in the old YMCA building making our way to the University Florist. We park put a quarter inside the parking meter and inside we go. “Hey, Lanette, how are you doing today? Have you gotten in any more new pottery from Marigold yet? I see a new angel over there." I turned and said to Abigail, “You re a real angel yourself. Do you want me to get you this tiny angel to be placed in a special spot for you on our kitchen floor for you to admire and see every day? I turned to Lanette. “Wrap Abigail's newest angel up in your prettiest MSU maroon and white frilly bows!”
We decided to take another route back home, and I took Abigail around Allen Hall, past the student dorms, turning on Magruder Street. We made a left turn on Morgan Street, and I said, “Abigail, look and see that big old white wooden two-story clap board house over there. This is where I grew up until third grade in Overstreet School. Look at that one tiny room extending off to the side of this house. This was my tiny bedroom. See that fig tree over to the side? It is still standing by the side door, and I wonder if there are any figs on it every summertime?” As I drove on by the old house, I suddenly had so many wonderful childhood memories of my family. I thought to myself, “Where have all the years gone? If I could only go back and be a little girl one one day in my life growing up on my beloved MSU campus! Time moves on, and we must make every precious second, minute and hour enjoyable every day. All we have left are our sweet memories.
We headed back home on a route down Russell Street and Gillespie Street past sweet Dorothy's and Miss Cornelia's Victorian homes, making our way towards the old lane which later became Wood Street. I can still see and hear the old milk cow coming and going up and down the lane led by an old man taking the Jersey cow to be milked at the barn near by. She had been grazing in Kennard Ward's old pasture all day, and she always had a cowbell dangling around her neck so we knew she was on her way either coming up or going down the lane.
We pulled into our driveway, and I said, “We are back home, Abigail!” Up the back brick steps, and I said, “Hi there, Miss Cutie Pie” to our sitting frog with her new cute flowered hat tied on her head with her hands folded underneath her chin. She certainly makes us smile! Inside the big old kitchen, and Abigail goes back to her special spot on her little brown easel on the floor so that I can look down at her and she can look up at me with her big brown smiling eyes! I said, “We had such a great, happy day together, didn't we, Abigail?” Everyday we live should be and could be a happy, fun, joyful day cause it is up to each one of us to make every day glorious.
I looked down at her portrait on her tiny canvas, and I thought, “Now Little Miss Abigail you are one cute cookie, agree?” Just look at her face. How could you not fall completely head over heels in love with her? Look into those big brown sparkling eyes that just melt your heart away, and her cute pug pink nose turned up just right toward heaven. Her sweet, smirky smile that makes you want to smile all day long. Her fat cheeks and her one ear lobe is sticking out on the left side of her fat cheek. Her jet black curly hair with fine real bows is pinned, tied, and stuck in just the right spots in all the soft curls that are so stylish. Abigail's favorite color is pink, and she is wearing the cutest little pleated dress that has a kicked-up flair in the back with her one arm stuck behind her waist. Look at her big pink bow tied almost underneath her tiny chin. The pink bows have all been curled with the tip end of each bow curled with a pair of scissors to give each of her now curly pink bows. I left the background all white so that Abigail would be “the shining star” on her tiny canvas. She is indeed a very classical portrait, and what great joy and delightful fun I had creating her as an artist.
Carole McReynolds Davis is a local artist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .