I hope this finds you well. Many things have happened here in the village, and I am happy that we have been spared the worst and all is well, and who would have thought so.
This year Dad was elected to the village council. It is a Great Honour for the whole family. Now he spends all his days at the Great Hall, and Arthur, Mama and I have to do all the work in the cabbage fields alone. Not that the work has gotten any less, mind you!
But Arthur says that Dad is now helping with the important business for the village, and he has probably saved our lives. This spring, Franciszek the tradesman from over the mountains came earlier than usual, and all in a hurry, and cried ‘The Huns The Huns! They have ransacked the villages over at Plodz, and you Mark my word they will be here before the end of summer’, and he almost forgot to give change to Mama when she bought the new spoons, and we had to stand in his way to make him come to reason.
So Dad stayed in the council every day until late, and they sent a messenger to the other villages to find out what they were Doing About It, and another one to the town of Radzhow to find out how to call some of the guards in case we need them, and when the messengers came back they went straight into the Hall, and Dad said he cannot tell us what their story was, it is all Strategy. But it seems that Strategy did not go down well, because Dad was angry for a whole week, especially with those from Radzhow, and he said he Knew It, and the buggers can’t even guard their own castle, even though they only have to close the door.
They also went to old Pawel up in the woods, you remember him from when you were a girl, and he told them about the last time the Huns were here, and they split up in groups to work out what they could learn from that experience. And Dad said the presentations were very impressive, and for days everybody in the council was only talking about the Off Site.
But what with all these talks about what to do When The Hun Comes, they did not have time to talk about the River. You remember the dams we have towards the cabbage fields, for when the river Flows Over in spring, and they are so old by now that we have to repair them every year. Well this year because of the Hun the council did not have time to say who does what, and some of the boys said we have to Do Something, never mind the Hun, and we were all down there up to our drawers in the mud, and it was a very tough job. But because everyone did what they could best, and no one told us how to fit the pieces together, when the snow melted up in the mountains, the river found its way into the cabbage fields, and Mummy said maybe if we catch enough frogs we might survive the year because the cabbages went all foul and started to stink in the mud.
And so it looked Very Bad Indeed for all of us, and then in the worst moment the fires lit up on the mountain tops, signaling There Is Danger, and soon the nearby villages went up in fire too. And we were all afraid and Mummy said This Is The End, and then the Horde came galloping towards us on their horses, and when they came to the cabbage fields their horses all stopped and some of them slipped and toppled over on the rotten cabbages, and it all ended there, their leader shouted something and they went over to burn Lodnan instead.
And so we were all spared, and very happy and thankful, and Mama took out the Firewater, and Grzegorz the Blacksmith said this year we were lucky with the council. Only Mr. Radezkov the teacher was not happy and said something that it was all coincidence and mismanagement, but as always he was just being Intellectual and he got told off by everyone, saying that in times of great success he should not carry his envy in his heart, and Dad got a medal for his Valuable Contribution At The Off Site.
Write back soon, and tell uncle Wania next time he comes over to bring some soft leather, Mama says he knows which one
Lots of kisses XXXX
Thanks Susanne for the real life inspiration!
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