Entertaining Anne: Driving to a Concert in a Pung Sleigh
Anne Shirley asks Marilla for permission to go to a concert with her friend, Diana Barry. One of the attractions is the big pung sleigh they’ll take to the concert.
“Oh, Marilla, what do you think? You know tomorrow is Diana’s birthday. Well, her mother told her she could ask me to go home with her from school and stay all night with her. And her cousins are coming over from Newbridge in a big pung sleigh to go to the Debating Club concert at the hall tomorrow night. And they are going to take Diana and me to the concert—if you’ll let me go, that is. You will, won’t you, Marilla? Oh, I feel so excited.”
Anne felt that she could not have borne it if she had not been going to the concert, for nothing else was discussed that day in school. The Avonlea Debating club, which met fortnightly all winter, had had several smaller free entertainments; but this was to be a big affair, admission ten cents, in aid of the library.... Everybody in school over nine years of age expected to go, except Carrie Sloane, whose father shared Marilla’s opinions about small girls going out to night concerts. Carrie Sloane cried into her grammar all the afternoon and felt that life was not worth living.
For Anne the real excitement began with the dismissal of school and increased therefrom in crescendo until it reached to a crash of positive ecstasy in the concert itself....
... Diana’s cousins, the Murrays from Newbridge, came; they all crowded into the big pung sleigh, among straw and furry robes. Anne revelled in the drive to the hall, slipping along over the satin-smooth roads with the snow crisping under the runners. There was a magnificent sunset, and the snowy hills and deep blue water of the St. Lawrence Gulf seemed to rim in the splendour like a huge bowl of pearl and sapphire brimmed with wine and fire. Tinkles of sleigh-bells and distant laughter, that seemed like the mirth of wood elves, came from every quarter. (208-13)
From L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, L. C. Page, 1908.
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