I debated how to end this, and especially possible reactions. I finally decided to go the Frank R. Stockton route, and give everybody a reason to be pissed off.

And her sky is just a bandit
Swinging at the end of a hangman's noose
'Cause he stole the moon and must be made to pay for it
And her friends say, "My, that's tragic"
She says, "Especially for the moon"
And this is the world as best as I can remember it

Lindsay and Elizabeth seemed to sprout in their third year, until they were as tall as their half-sister Colleen. Their mother no longer cried when she held them, though sometimes they would protest that she was holding them too tight. Every time Little Rock made a new mark where she measured their height on the wall, her mind whirled at all the hopes and fears, wishes and dreams she had held, the ones which had been fulfilled, and the ones which had failed, and the ones which might yet come to be.

In the tenth year of her marriage, Wichita lost two children. Her second baby girl, Jessica, died from a virus. Then precious little Danny was hit by a drunk driver from town. Columbus buried them both in the new field. Little Rock was as devastated as Wichita, especially at losing Daniel. Columbus told his wives they were lucky to have lost so few. Every week he spent at least one long afternoon in the field and returned with eyes still red.

A little before Little Rock's tenth anniversary, Wichita delivered her seventh child, with complications. The doctors at the hospital saved the mother and the child, but could do nothing about her uterus. Wichita was left with five children, three boys and two girls. She was 36. She cried for weeks, mourning the children she had lost, and the ones she could not bear. Then after due time, Columbus took her to bed and told her, "We had a good run. Now we can just enjoy." Then for the first time, she laughed after it was done. Thereafter, they spent more and more time walking, and working, and talking together. He found her more beautiful, too, as she began to work off the compound interest of pounds from the children she had born to keep his love. By the time she was 39, she was able to go on a "second honeymoon" wearing clothes that had not fit her since her first.

On the day Little Rock turned 30, Columbus and Wichita took her out to a beloved little greenhouse he had unveiled for her long ago on some occasion none of them could remember for certain. He took her to the wall behind her first and favorite rose bush. "Where's the new gift?" she asked.

Her husband would not- could not answer. So Wichita said, "We wanted to show this to you a long time ago, but we didn't know if you could handle it. We decided now was the time." Without a moment of hesitation or uncertainty, Columbus took a pry bar to one particular brick in the wall and wrenched it loose with a single tug. Little Rock looked in. For a moment, she was uncertain what it was for a moment, and for a little longer she was uncertain what it meant. Then she was on her knees, her husband with her, crying in front of the thimble-sized urn that held her son.

On the day of Little Rock's 20th anniversary, little Lizzy announced that a boy from the school in the city had proposed to her, and she was accepting. Two years later to the day, Columbus joyfully raised up his first grandchild. At Little Rock's suggestion, the child was named Austin, and the birth certificate said "Austin the Third". His grandfather finally admitted to being named Austin. What no one said was that "Austin, Jr." was not the name on his birth certificate, but on the tiny silver urn in Little Rock's jewelry box.

Then, as she returned to the homestead and retired to bed, and her husband lay between his wives, eyes closed but ears awake, she whispered in his ear: "I'm pregnant."

And this is the world as best as I can remember it