Saatvik Ahluwalia

Peasant Wedding

As Jill woke up she did not realize that it was going to be one of the most delightful days of her young life. It was a wedding day! And not any type of wedding - a peasant’s wedding. These weddings were not like those of the nobles, these were different and much better. At these weddings, the guests didn’t need to wear elaborate uncomfortable clothes. The women didn’t have to wear those silly corsets that seemed painful to wear. The men didn’t need to wear those bizarre pants that were really tight or those funny looking frilly shirts. These peasant weddings were special because they were rare, and only occurred once in a long while. Plus it was a time when everyone could be themselves and express their talents and hospitality. The children were permitted to act childishly, the cooks got together to prepare elaborate meals, the musicians made music, and the guests could relax and enjoy the wedding.

Jill got out of her warm and comfy bed, throwing off her brown quilt, only to feel the soothing chill of the brisk morning air. As she rubbed her eyes, she began to feel extremely grouchy. She hated the morning. It always meant waking up and eating the cold porridge, then heading off to school…. gah, school, the worst thing in a child’s life! It was the same routine every day: sit on the coldstone chairs, or on the floor, and listen to Fineus the hunch-backed druid babble on about arithmetic or language, or about her great ancestors, who had done battle against the Vikings!

But she felt that something unusual was going on. No one else was awake. She snuck into her parents’ room to see what was going on…they were both still sleeping. She ran to her father’s side and gently nudged him.  

“What is wrong?” he said with a snort.

“Why are you all still sleeping?” Jill asked.

“There is a wedding today! We all decided to sleep in. Why don’t you go and play outside?” suggested her father.

Jill gave her father a big hug, and turned around to walk out of the room into the living room, where she started the fire. The fire roared to life, and warmed her cold body. She took a large, black cauldron out from the corner and poured some porridge into it. Today she would have warm porridge. She remembered something, and ran to a cupboard from which she pulled a large, red bowl of sugar. When the porridge was done, and was poured into a tiny earthen bowl, she took a wooden spoon and indulgently sprinkled sugar on top of it. She sat in the large claw-footed armchair, which belonged to her father, and began to eat. The chair’s arms enveloped her, and the fuzzy cushion on the seat of the chair felt good after sleeping on a wooden board. The smell of her father rose up of the chair and she felt safe, as if he was right next to her.

Jill then left the house to play hide-and-go-seek with her friends till they heard the musicians start their music, and they ran towards the wedding hall.  There the adults were either dancing an ancient Dutch dance, or they sat at tables, drinking draughts of beer, digging into roast boar, and soups of all kinds, sharing stories of battles past, and of adventures endured.

The wooden tables were packed with food. Jill could see roast boars on brown plates, creamy custards, sweet porridge in earthen bowls, and all sorts of cheeses, sliced by the sharpest knives.  With music, dancing, good food, and friends everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Jill ran to one of the servers, carrying bowls filled with steaming porridge on a large wooden board, and asked for some porridge. He grabbed the most gorgeous bowl on the board, and handed it to her. Delighted, she took the bowl and thanked the server. The sweet smell of porridge wafted into her nose and she smiled in anticipation. She then turned to go and join her friends, but they all seemed to have disappeared.

“Where did they go?” Jill thought to herself.

This was awkward now. She was all alone in this huge room filled with adults who were drinking, eating, singing, and smoking. She stood in the middle of the room searching for a single child to sit with. There were no children left. What was she going to do?

“Get out of the way!” screamed a musician.

“Sorry Sir." she replied.

Now Jill was miserable; she was by herself. What was she to do now? She wished that some adult would come and comfort her, but they all seemed  to be enjoying themselves way too much to notice her, which just made her feel worse.

“Aww, you’re all alone. Come here little one.” invited one of the men at the table.

Jill looked around and saw where the voice had come from. In front of her was a man sitting at the table. He was wearing a black shirt, a black belt, and a black pair of pants. He also had a grass colored hat on his head.

“Yes?” Jill asked.

“Take this.” He replied as he reached into his pocket and he pulled out a feather and stuck it in Jill’s hat.

It was the most stunning feather Jill had ever seen. It belonged to a bird she had never seen. It seemed to be a leaf with a blue eye.

“This belongs to a peacock; don’t lose it, because if you do, you may never see one again.”

“Gee thanks mister! “ Jill yelled.

She felt much more at ease now. She turned around to find a place to sit, any place; it didn’t matter to her anymore. She glanced behind her and saw a vacant spot on the ground near some jugs. She scampered over and sat down. She dug into her porridge, which was now lukewarm. As she sat and feasted, she realized how happy she was. 

 

 

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