Chapter 13 Summary

Anne has learned that the church is sponsoring a picnic on the following Sunday. At the picnic there will be homemade ice cream, which Anne thinks will be the best thing she has ever tasted. She begs Marilla to please let her attend. Marilla has no intention of not giving Anne permission to go to the picnic, but she is disturbed that Anne is more than a half-hour late coming home. Anne explains that she had to stop by the barn and tell Matthew all about the church picnic. She adds that Matthew has a very good habit of being a good listener.

When Marilla tells Anne that she can attend the picnic, Anne becomes even more excited. She does, however, have one concern. She says she does not mind going to the picnic in one of her plain dresses, although all the other girls will have dresses with puffy sleeves, but Diana has told her that every girl must bring a packed picnic basket. Anne reminds Marilla that she does not know how to cook. Marilla eases her fears by telling Anne that she will prepare the basket for her. When Anne hears this, she runs to Marilla and kisses the woman on the cheek. It is the first time Marilla has ever been kissed by a child, and it thrills her. However, Marilla is also embarrassed by her emotional reaction and quickly brushes Anne to the side, reminding the child that she has chores to do.

The specific chore for that afternoon is sewing a patchwork pattern, which Anne finds extremely boring. For the next ten minutes—Marilla actually keeps track of the duration of Anne’s speech on the clock—Anne talks nonstop. She talks about how much she despises sewing patchwork patterns, and this topic bleeds into the next, which involves how much she likes playing with Diana.

Diana does not have as much imagination as she does, Anne says, but that is Diana’s only flaw. The two girls have created their hideaway, which Anne has dubbed Idlewild. She thinks it is a “poetical” name. She stayed up most of the night to think of it. In the hideaway, the girls have taken chipped plates and cups from Diana’s house. They use big rocks for chairs and have placed a board between two tree limbs for their table. Anne continues her discourse, adding information about a book she is reading that involves a heroine who has five lovers, a rainbow shard she and Diana found that they call “angelglass,” and all the creative names they have given to various local lakes and streams. Anne ends her monologue where she started, thinking about the ice cream she will eat for the first time in her life at the Sunday picnic.