tale is told of a woman who had married a princely man, both by stature
and by intelligence, and also by his manly looks and strength. But the
man was not a prince. He was a soldier, and as a soldier he was killed
in a war like many others in countless wars. As it was, the woman who
mourned for him, carried their child. In time the child was born. It
grew up in her arms and became a beautiful boy, wrapped in the
tenderness of her care and her love.
the boy grew older, he displayed evermore of the attributes of his
father, so that the woman's love for him became the very reason for her
living. She longed for no other love. Her life was fulfilled in the
happiness of those years.
came the years of famine. The boy was twelve. A great migration began
that many people undertook in the hope that they might escape the worst
of the famine. She and her son were among them. One day, in the throng
of the escape, her son was stolen from her side. Many children were
stolen in those days, to become laborers for somebody else.
to the deepest recesses of her soul, the woman refused to marry again.
She had many suitors, since she was attractive as a person and still
young, but her heart was too heavy with grief and fear. She feared that
she would not survive another lost love. She felt it would be better not
to love again, than having to bear the pain of loosing once more all
that she had lived for. Instead of marrying, she made it her quest to
find her lost boy.
the years passed, however, her fading hope weakened her heart. She
became more and more hateful and trusted no one. She hated especially
the people who stole. Unfortunately, as the times were hard, many people
resorted to stealing from one-another. Indeed, she herself had suffered
hunger on several occasions when thieves had broken into her home and
had stolen her living.
time went by the villagers set up patrols to protect themselves from the
thieves, nor did they deal kindly with whoever got caught. One day, the
woman herself encountered a thief. She confronted the man on the spot,
right in her own cottage. She screamed at him, but realized there was no
one nearby to offer her help. Without wasting a moment, she confronted
the man in a rage of up-welling anger, and grasped a knife and thrust it
in him without thinking. It all happened in a flash of a whirlwind of
uncontrollable emotions. Moments later the man lay on the floor in pain,
grasping at his stomach, gasping for air, asking her for forgiveness. As
she kneeled down to him she noticed a birthmark under his left ear that
identified him as her son. She saw the birthmark as she lifted his head
off the floor to give him a cup of water, which he had requested. The
birthmark was uncommon. It was the same as that of her son. She embraced
her son while he died. She knew she would have embraced him for his
whole life, even as a thief. She would have cried for him, and let her
love heal him. Now she could cry no more.