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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jerny At Ways, Part Two


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When Pae finally realized that she and her brother could not stay at the farm any longer, she asked Maghir, her elder brother, about their mother.

"Why can't we stay with mom? We can work the animals, ourselves," she complained. Maghir, a young boy, quite far from being a young man, did not have a good answer. Instead of giving her a bad answer, he decided that answering another question would be better.

"We're going to aunt Jen and uncle Madhu. They'll take care of us, and granny will take care of mom," he ended in a decisive tone. He was not really sure why their mother needed taking care of, but it was plain enough that she did not take their father's death well.

It is not that most children take death well. Not even a friend's death, much less family. Even the death of a farm animal could hurt. It is not even that their father was a bad man to be despised and glad over his demise. Not at all. Maghir and Pae simply did not feel as strongly as most others, when it came to death. Even they suspected that such a perspective was considered unusual in people.

"Spring" by Charles-Francois Daubigny, 1857
On the northern road, away from their home in Iranwin and towards those who would adopt them, at least for a time, Big Hor sang merrily. "Hoddy ho doddy do, little bird a whistle oh," he went and changed melodies and lyrics often, with little pause. Pae seemed aloof to the man's attempt at cheerfulness. Maghir felt slight disgust at the notion that they were too young to be allowed to be upset about their father's death.

Hor was a neighbor and an old friend. Each farm in their village, their further and further away village, stood a good walking distance away from the next farm. Even so, the locals felt close to each other, and treated each other well. Even between adults and children, games and conversations were commonplace. Hor was not then only a friend of the family, but an actual personal friend to both brother and sister.

As they walked under the mid-day sun, Maghir heard a noise from the east. Hor seemed to be too preoccupied to notice the sound, but Pae did turn to look at the same direction, as Maghir did. They exchanged curious glances. Could it be a wandering fox, Maghir wondered. When he turned back to look to the east again, he saw a tall woman covered with feathers from head to toe. She wore no clothing, except her feathers and a big toothy smile.

End of Part Two.

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