In the late 1920s, Anna tries to help her younger sister Katya regain her strength and joy in life after she becomes crippled by polio, in a dramatic story of the transforming power of love and the strong bonds between siblings.
Editors Note 1
The narrator recalls how long ago, as a young girl, she used to dance with her beloved baby sister Katya in the house and the surrounding fields of the family's farm. But when Katya is five she is suddenly overcome by a high fever. Although she recovers from the lingering illness, Katya's legs are left weakened and twisted. Still, the older sister dances with her beloved younger sibling, lifting her high and carrying her around in a wheelbarrow. Together they dream of a time when Katya will dance on her own once again. Then Mama and Papa announce that Katya must leave home and go to a hospital in the city where doctors will try to make her legs strong again. The narrator misses her sister and worries: will the treatment work so that Katya will dance again?