Laura was enjoying school.
And it does sound like Laura is really enjoying school. She has good friends in Ida, Mary Power, and Minnie. She feels comfortable enough to play games with the little boys, when they ask, and not worry that the others think she’s too rough or a tomboy.
She’s not even concerned about Nellie Oleson turning up her nose at them and scheming to become teacher’s pet and maybe even getting a ride behind those fine-looking Morgan horses. After all, Laura doesn’t need to be teacher’s pet to be head of the class.
Laura studied every evening till bedtime and that is when she missed Mary (away at college) most, so used to going over lessons together. She was comforted by the thought that, far away in Iowa, Mary was studying also. Laura was more determined to become a teacher so that Mary could stay in college.
Back to those Morgan horses. They are beautiful. So much so that Laura doesn’t even notice their handsome owner raise his hat to Laura, Ida, Mary Power, and Minnie as they are walking one day during their noon hour. She does notice the new buggy that they’re pulling. Those horses, they’re just like poetry. Laura wonders if she’s as horrid as Nellie thinking that maybe if Miss Wilder likes her she might just get a ride behind those horses.
As soon as they walk back into the schoolhouse, one thing becomes painfully clear. Nellie Oleson and Miss Wilder have been talking about Laura. And not in a good way. Nellie makes sure that Laura knows about it too.
“You needn’t think you’re so much, Laura Ingalls!” Nellie said. “Miss Wilder says your father has nothing much to say about this school, even if he is on the school board.”
After getting over her shock, Laura was furious! How dare Nellie say anything against Pa.
She said, “It’s too bad your folks are nothing but country folks, Nellie. If you lived in town, then maybe your father could be on the school board and have something to say about this school.”
Miss Wilder came in then. Nellie had been ready to slap Laura and Laura was already telling herself that she must not slap Nellie before it could even happen.
Laura sat down. She was still angry. Ida gave her clenched fist a little squeeze that said it all.
Good for you! You served her right!