“Late bloomers have the prettiest blooms,” Sadie’s momma said, after she tapped her on the head with the comb. “So, stop squirmin’.”
“It’s too tight.” Sadie winced, sucking in air to offset the pain. Her scalp burned like someone had set fire to it. She put her hands in her lap and tried to weather the storm, her hands rubbing each other to soothe the pain.
“Tenderheaded. That’s all.” Her momma pinched off a section of hair, and began another braid.
Sadie stifled a groan and squeezed her eyes tight. Once her momma finished the braid, she rubbed a finger full of grease along the parts, oiling her scalp and providing a balm to her irritated skin. The braids still hurt; the hair pulled taut and confined in the creative style.
With her hands sweating, Sadie gritted her teeth and stopped complaining. Not cause her momma’s braiding had stopped hurting. It did, but she wanted to look nice for the Dogwood Arts Festival. It happened once a year in Knoxville and she loved the early spring weather. Fresh grass, the flowers’ sweet smells and the pollen, giving everything a yellow hue.
Other places had festivals honoring dogwoods, cotton, and barbeque. Heck even bacon. Here in East Tennessee, beneath the Great Smoky Mountains’ rolling hills and purple mountains, the dogwood reigned.