Once upon a time there lived a butcher and his wife who longed for a child. Well in the following year, they both decided to move next door to an old witch’s castle because their old house had caught on fire. Ellen, who was the butcher’s wife, was expecting a child at the time. Then one day as she was staring outside of her window looking into the beautiful garden of the witch, she spotted her favorite fruit, persimmons. Taken aback by the appearance of the fruit, which is the color of a ripened peach, she galloped to her husband who was tending to their own garden. She said, “I would like for you to do something for me.” When the butcher ignored her and continued working she said, “I want you to go into that garden over there and get me a ripe and juicy persimmon.” Ellen demanded hoping that he would listen to her. Quite surprised by her demand, he put down his bag of corn seeds and said, “I am not going into that garden. That witch could do something that is terrible to us. A who knows, there might be some kind of poison that only she could eat.” When Ellen heard this, she stamped off into the cottage and would not eat for days. Instead she only drank water and slept. The man, who was frightened by her condition, finally gave in. “Fine. Will give you what you want.” He walked across the lawn, climbed over the gate that separated the castle for the rest of the world and then he stepped into the garden. It was filled with exotic fruits and vegetables for me different places like Spain and Portugal. With so many varieties of food, he decided to take more than just the fruit. After grabbing the items, he quickly scampered back to the cottage. With the other stolen goods under his cloak, he gave his wife the persimmons and hid them in an old sack. The next day, while mark was feeding the stable horses, Ellen demanded for more frit. This time he did not complain because he knew what was in garden. He put down the feed and did as he was told. Again, he gave Ellen the fruit and put the other goods in an old sack. This went on for the next seven months. Each time the butcher left the cottage for the fruit, the less food there was left in the garden. One day, the which, whose name was katny (kat- knee), went to her garden to renew her spell that helps plants survive for seven months without anyone tending to it. There in the garden was nothing but vines and broken tree limbs from which her very garden used to stand. She dropped her wand and screamed, “Someone has destroyed my garden! I can’t believe this!” Both the butcher and his wife heard the poor woman’s cry. Then Ellen realized something. She turned to mike and said, “What else did you take besides the persimmons?” the young man walked to what used to be one old sack, but now it was about thirty sacks. He opened up one of the bags. Ellen gasped. Then before she could anything else, katny knocked on the door. Marl hid the fruit and vegetables while Ellen answered the door. Katny was not very elderly but had the appearance of a twenty- three year old. The old lady stepped into the house. “I‘ve come to ask you a few questions.” katny said as she observed the small home. “A few weeks ago, my garden guards, Margo, saw a man with an old cloak on climb over the garden fence and take a few things every night for the past seven months.” The old lady rasped. “I assume that you are the only people close enough to see the contents of my garden.” “Well, you can’t really say tha-“Ellen began only to be stopped by the bony fingers of death and cold. “Do you think that I m a fool?” the young lady shook her head. Katny knew what she thought. “Ok.um. let me show you.” Then without a warning, the witch pulled out her wand and said a spell:
My fruit! My fruit! Pulled up by your root! Please tell me where you are because you’re not that far!
Then, to Ellen’s surprise, every bag that had the stolen goods glided across the room onto the witch’s shoes. Katny glared at the bags and said,” I think that you were mistaken miss. I believe that you did take my food.” Katny was furious! “That deceitful girl! She ought to lose her child for this!” she thought. “Since you have stolen my precious garden and told me a lie, you shall be cursed.” katny grabbed her wand and tapped it over Ellen’s head four times.” When your child is born you shall die twelve hours after it is born. Your husband shall become a widow and every time he tries to marry, his crops will fail and so will everything else. And when your baby is two years old, it shall belong to me.” Ellen was absolutely horrified! “Why must I lose my child for this? I was not the one who took from your garden!” The witch headed for the door and said, “You must lose your child because you asked your husband to take a persimmon from my garden so you started it all.” And without another word to the poor peasant, she left the house. Mark, who was hiding behind a wheel of cheese came out of his hiding place and said,” If it weren’t for you asking for persimmons, then we would not lose our child or would I have boundaries for marriage.” He sauntered over to her and gave her a hug. A few weeks after the family was cursed, Ellen gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She named her Adrianna after her mother, Adrianna Casey learet, who had died many years ago. Many hours had passed and the helpless mother was getting weaker by the hour. As she lay on her death bed she whispered, “Please tell Adrianna that I love her over the two years of her life. And tell her that….. I never meant to abandon her at….all. But most importantly……tell her that she will never live with her father ever again. She will be…..living with….a witch.” After that, Ellen’s breathing began to slow down with every breath she took until finally, she stopped breathing altogether. As a baby, Adrianna did not know that she did not have a mother at all in fact it seemed like her father was both parents. Her father did not know how to take care of a baby and work, so he hired a maid to help him. Her name was Lady Saran. She was a nice lady but very lovely in a sort of way Mark himself could not understand. Saran did everything that she could to help Mark and his daughter survive the scorching hot summer days, and the icy cold winter days that blew out half of his crops that he spent to many years harvesting. Lady Saran was the perfect wife for any man to have except for him of course. “Lady Saran, can you take Adrianna to the washtub and clean her? She has been playing in the dirt today and if I am not mistaken, I think that she ate some of it. I would do me t myself but, I am still tilling the garden for the winter months.” Mark panted, holding the baby out so that the lady could wash her up. “Sure.” She grabbed the baby and took her outside. “Here Adrianna I will get you all cleaned up.” She took off the baby’s diaper and places her into the warm water. When she was done, Adrianna was cleaner than an air dried piece of silk. She took the small infant out of the water and wrapped the towel around her small body. Lady Saran put clothes on the little baby and sang songs to her until she fell asleep. Then, Mark slapped the maid across her face. “I have been calling you for a while and you have not answered.” She stared up at him and stood up. “Well, if I am not mistaken, I was the one who helped you through this year after your wife had died and I should at least earn a lot more respect than what you are giving me now. And always remember that I can always leave this house and let you Struggle on your own.” She barreled through the clutter that was strewn across the room. Mark watched after her. “Where are you going?!” She turned around her face red with anger. “Where am I going?!” She repeated. “I am going anywhere but here. It is time that you learn how to survive on your own. Besides, you are grown man. It’s time that you ask yourself ‘What am I really doing to help my family survive on its own without a mother?’ Then she walked to the door and pulled it open. “Lady Saran please don’t leave this house. I beg you!” The unsuccessful man called after her. She turned around to take a last glimpse of the small cottage. “I see. You realized that I was the one who had kept you straight after the tragic loss of Ellen.” she sighed, “Okay. Maybe I will stay- only under one condition.” The old man was so eager. It took her a while to think about what she wanted to say. She has always loved Mark, but to see him hit her across her face, basically crushed her feelings for him. Saran closed her eyes. “My wish is for you to marry me.” Mark was appalled at the fact that Saran had wanted this request. “No I can’t. There are some things in this world that were never meant to be. And that includes us.” He walked to her and held her hand tightly into his own. His heart beating faster and faster with every passing moment. “I don’t understand. Why can’t you do my wish if you really need me?” Lady Saran’s eyes glistening in the light of the sun that filtered through the tiny window. Mark closed his eyes to recollect his thoughts. Was he really going to tell her the truth? Or lie just to cover up the curse that waits for him to slip just one time and destroy his life forever? “The reason why Ellen died is because of me-” Lady Saran waved her hand madly, like it was on fire. “You killed your wife?! That is very absurd! I-” He held his hand over her mouth. “I did not kill her! Now if you would let me explain, you would know exactly how she died….” Mark began to tell Lady Saran about his wife’s demands for persimmons and how he went over to Katny’s garden and how she came into the cottage to see who had stolen her precious goods. Then he told her that the witch figured out that Ellen had lied to her and she put a curse on the entire family. And at last he told her why he can’t marry and that Adrianna will be taken away by the witch when she is two years old. Lady Saran was astonished. She felt really guilty for the fact that she was mean to him just because he slapped her. He only did it because of his wife’s death. She hugged him tenderly. He needed all the love that he could get. “I am so sorry. I did not know about all the things that you have gone through.” Lady Saran coughed. “If only I had a child.” Mark was not in the mood for grieving or sensitivity. Expression of the feelings is not something that most people would tell strangers let alone their maids or as we call it our “helping hands”. No one knew the pain and misery that Mark felt as Ellen lay on her death bed telling him things that need to be passed on throughout the two years that Adrianna would live with him. The only two years that he will ever see her at all. A few moments passed with intensity as Lady Saran hugged mark with her tender, long fingers which pierced his body with every passing moment. Then, out of nowhere, Adrianna began to cry. They released themselves and began to comfort the small child.
The next day Mark decided that he would marry Lady Saran. Besides, no one was eligible enough to help him through the hardships of his life, and just because katny pretended like she was a real witch does not mean that she was a real witch or does it? “So in the end, I will give it a shot at marrying you just to try to prove that the witch’s curse is false.” He hesitated. Lady Saran smiled as she dressed Adrianna in her dress for the day and sat her at the old wooden table where her porridge sat. “I am so glad that you finally came through for me. I mean- I can tell- what I meant to say was……….yeah……I am so glad.” She blushed fully embarrassed over her own words. Mark wanted to kiss her, but decided not to. Instead, to squash the thought, he said’ “What day would you like for the wedding to be?” She looked out onto the grass that swayed with the breeze outside the window.
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