How does Anna Avalon save the narrator when the narrator was seven-years-old?

In the short story "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich, Anna Avalon saves the seven-year-old narrator from a house fire by climbing an elm tree, leaping from the elm tree to the roof of the house, and then leaping with her daughter, the narrator, from a window into the firefighters's net.

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When the narrator of this great short story is seven years old, she is rescued by her mother, Anna Avalon, from a burning building. Their family farmhouse caught fire while she was home alone with a babysitter. The stairs leading up to the narrator's room had been engulfed in flames...

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When the narrator of this great short story is seven years old, she is rescued by her mother, Anna Avalon, from a burning building. Their family farmhouse caught fire while she was home alone with a babysitter. The stairs leading up to the narrator's room had been engulfed in flames by the time the sitter had called the authorities. To make matters worse, the extension ladder that the fire department had brought to the scene was broken.

Rather than let her daughter face a fiery death, Anna takes a leaf through her trapeze artist training and climbs a tall elm tree which happened to be growing next to the house. In order to get into the tree, she uses the part of the ladder that was not broken. She subsequently becomes obscured from view by the thickening foliage, but then creeps along a thin branch which allows her to reach the roof.

From that vantage point, Anna was able to get into the room where her daughter was, wrap her arms around her waist, and get both of them down to safety by jumping into the safety net which had been set up below.

In a nutshell, this mother did what any mother would have been likely to do in this situation: she used every tool and skill at her disposal to protect her child.

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As the narrator explains in the short story "The Leap" by Louise Erdrich, her mother, Anna Avalon, is a former trapeze acrobat. She was part of an act known as the Flying Avalons. Anna's first husband died in a tragic accident at the circus, and while Anna was recovering in the hospital she met her second husband, who was a doctor. At the time of the accident Anna was pregnant with the narrator. Anna, her new husband, and the narrator went to live at an old farm that the husband had inherited.

The rescue of the seven-year-old narrator takes place near the end of the story. She is at the farmhouse with a babysitter while her parents are out, and a fire starts near the chimney. The babysitter is downstairs, and the stairway to the room where the narrator is becomes cut off by flames. The babysitter cannot get to her.

When the parents get home, volunteers are spraying water on the house, but the staircase is gone so they cannot reach the narrator. She is completely trapped on the second floor. To make matters worse, the ladder that the fire crew brought is broken.

At this point, Anna Avalon realizes that she will have to attempt to save her daughter on her own by using the skills that she learned when she was an acrobat in the circus. She rips off her dress, climbs into an old elm tree that is growing beside the house, and somehow leaps from the tree to the roof of the house. She makes her way to her daughter's window and then has her daughter, the narrator, open the window so she can crawl inside. Anna then takes her daughter into her arms and leaps out the window into the firefighters's net.

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When the narrator was seven years old, she was sleeping in an upstairs room when a fire started on the first floor of her home near the stove. The narrator mentions that the fire more than likely ignited from standing ash. The narrator’s father had haphazardly emptied ashes into a cardboard box, which caught on fire and quickly spread throughout the house. Unfortunately, there was only one staircase leading to the upstairs, which was blocked by flames. The baby sitter ended up calling emergency services and narrator's parents arrived with the fire trucks as the flames continued to grow. When Anna Avalon and her husband arrived on the scene, Anna removed her dress and proceeded to ascend a nearby elm tree that was close to the home. Anna then leapt from a bough onto the edge of the roof. Anna then tapped on the window, entered the upstairs room to save her daughter, and jumped down onto the firemen's net with her daughter in her arms.

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Anna Avalon saves her seven-year-old from burning to death in a house fire. The little girl is trapped inside the house; it seems certain that she will die. But Anna comes to the rescue just in the nick of time. She manages to climb in through a window and grab her daughter before whisking her away to safety. But then, Anna was once a professional acrobat, and this isn't the first time that her advanced circus skills have had a positive impact on her daughter.

Years before, Anna was performing a blindfold trapeze act with her husband. After the tent in which they were performing was struck by lightning, Anna was forced to make a fateful split-second decision. Either she could save her husband and fall to her death, or she could save herself and her unborn baby. She chose the latter of the two options. Although Anna lost her baby, she survived, and while recuperating in the hospital she met the doctor who would become her husband and the narrator's father.

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