The begining of the 13th chapter
Rhoda enjoyed the rocking movement and the feeling of the rays dancing on her eyelids, disappearing according to the angle she was in, half listening to the mixture of voices around her. She could hear her younger sisters playing in the wide courtyard outside their bedroom, and her older sisters sitting, each with her own teacher, and learning – one math and the other one painting, the third played the harp and the fourth practiced the flute. From the garden around her, she heard the voices of her mother and two sisters, who were busy taking care of the rose bushes – trimming the prettiest flowers, to put on the table where they ate.
Rhoda had finished her studies by now and was supposed to read one of the history books to get ready for tomorrow’s lesson. The book was spread on her stomach, open at the right place, but after reading in the sun for some time, her eyes just kept closing and she found that she just couldn’t control them. Rhoda wasn’t asleep, but the strong radiance of the sun was softened only a little by the tree that the hammock was hung under, and her eyes just couldn’t hold against that radiance. She closed her eyes and thought ‘It’s interesting that I have to learn so much history and literature. If I think of it – none of my other sisters is studying this much history every day, not even the big ones. And they didn’t study this much even when they were my age! I was the only one that had to know, at the age of six, the list of every king who ruled until now, and the names of all the kingdoms with their capitals and their rulers. All my sisters learned to play one instrument and I know how to play the harp and the flute. All my sisters have a lot of free time, and only I have to work so hard on my studies. Even swimming and dancing lessons, I have more of them than any one of my sisters, and I practice many other kinds of dancing styles. I wonder why it is so.’
It was the first time in her life that she noticed there was such a difference between her and all of her sisters, those who are bigger as well as those that are smaller than her. And since she was a baby! She decided to go and ask her mother about it. She will surely be able to tell her what is the reason for this.
Rhoda opened her eyes with an effort, furrowing her brow against the teasing sun, and went to the rose beds. There was a big vase near her mother that held the roses she had already picked. Rhoda went to her and said “Mother. Why do I study so much more than all of my sisters?”