Friday, April 17, 2009

Mercy's Quill

From Mercy's book of poems and stories - 1692

The blacksmith’s daughter was known throughout the sleepy village as a maiden who knew not when to keep silent. Her name was Verity and an apt name it was. Verity always spoke whatever words filled her mind, whether they be words anyone should want to hear or not. If a villager mistreated his horse, she would ask him in a loud voice in front of all if he would like his Master to so treat him. If the married women took to gossiping on the steps of the Meeting House, she would caution them not to trip down the stairs since the long white robes of holy judges tend to wrap around the ankles.

The blacksmith and his wife were quiet, docile folk and knew not how to silence Verity’s tongue. And the blacksmith secretly enjoyed Verity’s brash and honest comments because she often said what he only dreamt of saying.

But when the time came for her to be married, few men would consider taking her to wife, even though she was as beautiful as a morning sunrise. Her golden tresses and dove-gray eyes were as comely as her tongue was untamed.

The only match the blacksmith could make was with the miller's son, a young man who never ventured from the grindstone. The man’s name was Jacob and he could neither speak nor hear. A long and terrible illness when he was but a babe had stolen away his voice and ears. Ah! The perfect match, the villagers snickered. No one, especially the gossips, could speak of anything else for days; nay even weeks after the couple were married. Verity had finally met her match.

But, as fate would have it, Verity grew to love the quiet man who let her speak on and on and never once lifted a finger to silence her. And his quiet acquiescence allowed her to speak all the more loudly about that which vexed her spirit, because who could silence her now that she was married, but her good husband, and he cared not that she had an opinion on so many matters.

They lived a happy life, Verity and Jacob, and were blessed with six daughters who were encouraged by their mother to speak whenever words were desperately needed.

And always in front of their cottage, on the dirt and in the mud, were myriads of little pictures drawn by a stick or a stone, etched there by Jacob, and which Verity never swept away. For they were messages from her quiet husband – pictures of his pleasure - because he who had no voice now had seven.

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