I am writing this after reading the book "The Witch of Blackbird Pond". (Don't worry, it is just a historical book about the the puritans and their conspiracies about witches.) This is a character sketch of one of my favorite characters.
Prudence came to America with her parents on the Eaton's boat, the Dolphin, along with Kit. The child looked up to Kit on account of the sudden kindness shown when Kit jumped into river to fetch her beloved wooden doll. Her vicious parents would not let her near Kit when they were with her, which was on very few occasions. Their lack of concern for her was a blessing in disguise because it allowed her to have secret reading lessons with her newfound friend Kit and grow into the real Prudence that had been locked away for so long.
The scared child, weak and weary of her mothers brutal behavior, was deprived of nutrition and love. She lived in nightmarish circumstances, constantly fearing the undue wrath of her mother. Her heart was a gaping wound, in need of serious repair and unconditional love. She grasped at every bit of sunshine she saw, wishing with all her heart to be brought from the darkness always lurking over her. Her parents were constantly pushing her deeper in the deep, dark, depression and pulling her farther away from the joyful smiles she saw. Once when Kit saw the girl, she attempted to give a friendly smile, but the child was angrily yanked away.
Prudence's yearning for knowledge and friendship led her to the Wood's house several times to steal a quick glance at the young students. She secretly listened to the joyful school lessons Kit taught with Mercy. As she peered through the door into the forbidden sunshine, her heart longed to understand the magnificent letters she admired and taste the love and joy in the words spoken there. The flowers she left on the doorstep represented the sweet admiration of the girl who had saved her doll. Her pure adoration was evident in every glance she was able to focus on that smiling face of Kit. It gave her hope. Finally the two girls were able to meet in secret, the older giving the younger reading lessons.
As she gained a friendship with her role model, Prudence's timid, gloomy eyes were replaced with eager, sparkling ones, and she soon learned to trust her few, forever, friends. Groping at the light she had seen on Kit's face in the ship and the joy she had seen in the Wood's home Prudence continued to seek the companionship of her friends. She was introduced to a feeling she had never known before, a safety she had only dreamed of. She devoured the scriptures any chance she got. The light she had been barely allowed to see, was now part of her life. She had something to look forward to. Prudence learned to trust others, and feel their love. Her courageous loyalty was evidenced as she boldly stood at the witness stand for her friend Kit.
Prudence the timid, abused child on the ship, became the eager & joyful little girl in Hannah's cabin. She learned what safety felt like and gained boldness in her newfound reading ability. God showed His love & light to her through His scriptures. Her father rejoices, "...I got someone now to read the Good Book to me of an evening...". He finally decided to take on his role and protect her, "She'll be all right" "Time somebody looked after her so's she won't need to run off any more..." The loving girl hidden behind the frightened nutritionally deprived child was uncovered. Prudence had God's word in her heart. She was loved, cared for and freed by friendship.