My children, two girls, Brakka and Jant, work at a farm outside of town. I've been to it, I think, but I'm unclear on what the farm actually does or what their work entails and, well I'm not even sure it exists, having heard differing reports along those lines. So you'd think I'd be worried sick and normally you'd be right.
Except I hear and see other things, like the obvious fact that both girls love their jobs and are eager to start each day. That they get paid each week in strange gold coins that the bankers readily pay large sums of money for, sums far beyond a week's wages at any job I'd ever heard of. I know they're both good girls and wouldn't do anything dishonest.
My girls are both of a marriageable age, Brakka being a year older than Jant yet they rarely pay any attention to suitors. One young man who took Brakka out a couple times had pointed ears, of that I'm sure, even though he tried to hide them under his strange hat. I think they're still seeing each other but curiously he doesn't come here anymore. Jant is just too flighty to take anything seriously and doesn't, that I can tell, have any suitors at all.
I should leave well enough alone, with things going so well, the girls happy as larks, our financial situation the best it's ever been but, well, I'm just curious, that's all. I mean no harm.
The first time I tried to follow them to the farm I, well I should tell you right off that I've been curious about that farm for some time now, from the beginning actually, and well, as I was saying, the first time started off fine with them in clear sight ahead and me far enough behind to remain unseen. It was brilliant and I remember smiling with pride as I made my way from one hidden spot to the next. They danced and laughed openly up the lane, never thinking to look back. I didn't think anything when they passed the giant old tree south of town where the path curves around upward. I hid while they went around the tree, watching intently for their reappearance so I could move behind the tree to follow. I watched and I kept watching but they never reappeared. They'd gone behind that tree and zappo, they were gone! I was totally freaked and would've called detectives from somewhere if they hadn't returned that evening, but they did, smiling and happy like nothing had ever happened.
The next time I got confused somehow, especially since they started off in a different direction, and, oh and it was cloudy, probably raining or at least misty, or foggy and then the wind blew so I got more confused and somehow, I ended up in the grocery store. I don't remember going in but I did remember some things we needed so I went shopping. The girls were back at their regular time that evening.
There were a few more incidents along these lines then, this last time, I was behind them like I do, watching closely then hiding and so on when suddenly I heard some giggling behind me, soft and furtive and I spun around to find my daughters watching me with unfeigned merriment.
Then Brakka, laughing, gestured for me to join them. They went to work even though I was with them. We went to a farm I'd never seen before and milked cows and threw hay. We fed chickens and mended fences. It was long, dreary day, sort of dreamy somehow and I was very glad to get home that evening. My husband (he had a similar experience when he demanded to see the farm) and I have never thought about their jobs again except I felt a little sorry for them with all that hard work. Now we're both content to be, well, content. Amazingly content. I wonder sometimes what the farm's called?