Mandorlinfiore, Chapter Two

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  1. A Baby is Born

I suppose that now is probably the best time to really start telling the story.

Once upon a time, that’s how all the best stories start. Am I right? Well, let’s see. Once upon this time there was a husband and a wife, soon to become a father and a mother. He was a fisherman, keen eyed and hardy; she was a seamstress, quick with a needle and thread. Now they might have been poor, but they were moderately happy, in good health, with some fine friends. They didn’t want for much more than to have a family, and so it was with great joy that they discovered that the wife was to have their first child.

Our story starts on the fateful night that sets the future for all of us, the night of the baby’s birth. In this town it was the custom for the husband to stand at the door, ready to announce to the community the name and status of the new arrival. Our young husband had been on tenterhooks all day long. He longed for a son he could take to sea, as he had been taken to sea by his father before him. In this town it was also the belief that whoever might be passing the front door at the moment of the child’s birth would bestow their particular fate upon the baby. To counter this it was usual for the family’s friends to guard the door so that no undesirable persons may come anywhere near.

On the night in question however, we find that the tides have not been kind and all of the husband’s associates are out at sea, and all of their wives are otherwise engaged either with the new mother or with their own babies.

And so it was that a small gang of pirates, deep in their cups and singing bawdy songs, clattering their cutlass and spurs, came staggering along the quay. And the husband called out to his wife; ‘For goodness sake, don’t have the baby just yet.’

She did not have the baby then and the husband was relieved. But when he looked up again he saw a pair of slavers with their cruel whips tied at their belts. And the husband called out to his wife, ‘not yet, not yet.’

She did not have the baby then and the husband was relieved. But when he looked up again he saw a madam and her girls trotting down to the quay. And the husband called out to his wife, ‘please, not yet.’

She did not have the baby then and the husband was relieved. He prayed for his friends to return safely with the tide to protect the fate of his family. But when he looked up again who should he see outside his door but the King, and right at that very moment a son was born to his wife.

At once the new father cried out; ‘A King has been born to us! A King has been born to us.’ And there was much rejoicing within the house.

About 14thcenturypoet

Author of Mandorlinfiore, an historical fantasy based on traditional Italian folk tales...
This entry was posted in Mandorlinfiore, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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