I hope this finds you well. Such a lot has happened here in the village, and I am so happy that we’ve been spared the worst and all is well, and who would have thought that?
This year Dad was elected to the village council. It’s a Great Honour for the whole family. Now he spends all his days at the Great Hall, and Arthur and 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’s now helping with important business of the village and that he’s 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’ve ransacked the villages over at Plodz, and you Mark my words they will be here before the end of summer”, and he almost forgot to give Mama her change when she bought the new spoons, and we had to block his way to make him see 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 messenger 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 couldn’t repeat their story to us, because it was all Stradegy. But apparently Stradegy didn’t go down well, because Dad was really angry for a whole week, especially with the ones from Radzhow, and he said he Knew It, and the rascals can’t even guard their own castle, even though they only have to close the gate.
They also went to old Pavel up in the woods, you must remember him from when you were a little girl, and he told them about the last time the Huns came and they split up into groups to work out what they could learn from that Experience. And Dad said the Presentations were really 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 down near the cabbage fields, for when The River Overflows in spring, and how they are so old now that we have to fix them every single year. Well this year because of the Huns the council did not have time to say who would do what, and some of the boys said we have to Do Something, never mind the Huns, and we were all there up to our Drawers in the mud, and it was really hard work. But because everyone did what they do best, and no one told us how to fit the different pieces together, when the snow melted up in the mountains, the river flowed into the cabbage fields, and Mummy said maybe if we catch enough frogs to eat we might survive the year, because the cabbages went all rotten and started to really stink in the mud.
And so it looked Really Bad for all of us, and then in the worst moment the signal fires were burning up on the mountain tops, saying There Is Danger, and soon the villages around us lit up in flames 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 got to the cabbage fields their horses all stopped suddenly and some of them slipped and toppled over into the rotten cabbages, and it all ended there, their leader shouted something and they went away to burn Lodnan instead.
And so we were all saved, and really happy and thankful, and Mama took out the Firewater, and Grzegorz the Blacksmith said this year we’re lucky having the Council. Only Mr. Androgzin the Teacher was not happy and said something about it being all just Coincidence and Mismanagement, but as always he was just being Intellectual and he got told off by everyone, who said that in times of great success he should not Bear 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,
Thanks Susanne for the real life inspiration!
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