Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well Met!

Five well scrubbed children looked at me solemnly as I entered their home. They clapped with their fingers cupped together and bowed politely when Johannes introduced me as their future stepmother.
Marianne, the eldest, is about twelve years of age and very sweet in her expression. The boys – Wolfgang, Joseph, Andra, Karl - I could not tell their ages exactly, were longing to run outside into the garden at the point where it meets the lake. It was still as a duck’s pond.
We watched the two older ones climb trees while the two youngest played hide and seek with Marianne. I think all went tolerably well, but I had no appetite for the feast that had been prepared in my honour. I remember thinking, ‘Heigh-ho. This was my mother’s house when she was a little girl, ’ as I was shown each room and told the history of it. I imagined her as a child of the magistrate, much like Marianne, and when it was time for me to leave, I said truthfully that I looked forward to my next visit. The children smiled back at me and clapped their hands again, making a small fluttering sound like a flock of birds. N.


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