10 October 2016

Postcard 70

There was a couple with a child, a daughter, who lived in a small town in a distant wood. The couple lived at the edge of a forest that belonged to the village and they managed the timber and game. Their daughter ran freely and played in congress with the animals of the wood and with the children of the town. In the village was a manor with high walls, grass and gardens on one side, a cobblestone street far below on the other. The couple's child was one day playing and fell upon her head from the wall to the hard road. For a long time no one missed her. A cinder-woman found her crumpled and lifeless and took her to the owner of the manor who sent for her parents. You must take her to the healer in the next town, he told them, and he let them use his carriage and driver. The father held the listless girl who's head was swollen but did not bleed. She sighed and muttered but did not wake. As they travelled the road seemed to lengthen and the girl grew smaller in her father's arms. When they reached the healer, she was the size of an orange. They approached the healer, a proud and regal mandarin, with pleading. By the time he consented to see the girl, she was as small as a walnut. The healer took her in his hand and immediately put her in his mouth and swallowed her whole. "Where is girl?" The parents could only gape.

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