Ellen woke up to the sound of birds chirping, the sunlight streamed in her window, onto her bed. Yawning she stretched and rose , her bare feet touching the cold wooden floor made her shutter as she crossed to where Alma has already poured fresh water into her basin. Splashing water on her face she looked out the window. Spring was coming, the snow was melting from the cold ground, animals were returning from hibernation, Ellen's mare Raspberry was pregnant.

Every morning Ellen rushed to the barn to check on her, though Henry had told her that the baby wouldn't be born for awhile. Still Ellen checked, her ten year old enthusiasm could not be held back and the household all laughed to see the girl carefully feed her horse carrots, telling her that she must eat to "be strong for her baby".

That day as Ellen rushed down the stairs after Alma had braided her hair, Henry was waiting for her in the kitchen, his hat in his hands.

"Hi Papa!" Ellen cried, "standing on her tiptoes to give him a hug before dashing away, calling over her shoulder as she went towards the door. "I'm going to go see how Raspberry is today!"

"Ellen wait!" he called after her, "I have something. . ." she closed the door behind her, not listening to him. He walked after her and found her right out side the door, her mouth open in shock.

"Papa, who is this?" she asked quietly, looking back at him. Three people stood before her, a tall thin woman and two young girls. Behind them was a wagon, piled high with trunks and chests and even a few pieces of furniture.

"Papa." Ellen asked again, "Who are these people?"

Placing his hands on her shoulders Henry smiled down at Ellen. "These dear, are your new sisters. . .and your new mother." Taking his hands of Ellen's shoulders he went and stood by the tall woman. "This is Danielle Coll. . . Eld, your step mother. She and I were married today." The woman smiled coldly down at Ellen, "how do you do my dear? I am so pleased to meet you." with that said she looked away, as if disinterested in her new daughter. Henry didn't notice and eagerly went on to introduce the younger girls. "these are her daughters. Hazel,"

The shorter, and presumably younger of the two stepped forward, her blond hair glowing in shinning curls around her frail shoulders. "How do you do?" Ellen didn't know what to say, she just stared at the girl open mouthed, until she took a step back to her spot, a look of disgust crossing her face.

"and Willa." the elder of the two stepped forward. Her red hair glowed like a halo around her face, and reached down her back in long glossy tresses, her green dress impeccably clean, she was even wearing white gloves that covered her delicate hands! She smirked slightly, "Hello dear."

Again Ellen just stared open mouthed at these strange people she had never met.

Now she knew very little of love and marriage, seeing as how she was only ten, but from what she knew she had always thought that you knew people a long time before you married them! She also had thought that usually love was involved in marriage, and from what she could she Ellen didn't see how her father could love someone like this after her mother.