Short Story: The Wise Woman's Life

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One day, the wise woman of the village called all the children to her house. She sat with them in a circle, and they ate and sang together until the moon was high in the sky. The children had never been allowed to stay up as late. They were excited. Their tongues prickled with the spicy soup that the wise woman had given them. When the fire was just a low glimmer of ash and wood anymore, the woman lifted her hand. The children that had been laughing and chattering fell quiet. The woman said: “Show me the palm of your hand, and tell me only the truth. Swear on it.” “I swear,” said the children. Some whispered it, some barely got out the words, but all of them were shivering because they felt something old and large reach for their hearts. They didn’t know if it was the soup, the woman’s power, the moon, or just their own awe before the world and the night that made them speak truthfully.…show more content…
She looked at one after the other. Her eyes were warm as the fire, dark as the moon’s shawl above. “Speak what you wish to raise in your life.” Everyone was silent for a long time. The woman turned her head towards the first boy. “Family,” the boy mumbled. Then, a bit louder, clutching his empty soup bowl, he looked at everyone with honey golden eyes, wide with kindness. “Mine and others.” The old woman said nothing. Only her head moved from then on, and it pointed to the next, the next, one after the other. And the children spoke. “Health.” “Knowledge.” “Happiness.”

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