Ch. 21 "had blossomed in gray balls. She reached to touch one carefully. It was furry and soft as the kitten Prudence had once held,". What bush is it
My guess would be that this description is referring to a pussy willow bush. The bush gets it's name because the catkins, or flower like portion of the plant, is as soft as a cat. The pussy willow, or Salix discolor, is found in the New England area where this story takes place. I have often seen it growing aside lakes and in lightly wooded areas just as the plant in the book is described. The story also describes a short bush which is very fitting to the pussy willow. This short plant does not usually grow above 6 meters. If you have ever held a pussy willow branch, it is covered in little gray-white balls that are fluffy and soft like cotton or animal fur. It is often used in decorating because of it's appealing touch and look.