Historical setting: 584 C.E. The house of Eve
I asked Anatase how Eve found her way before she had an apprentice.
“Before me she had her boy Thole. He’s a cousin to the Ma’am Colletta. When Thole was a child he helped my teacher with the chores and he was her guide, but he didn’t help her with babies or healing the sick and he couldn’t read her book. She always had to hope someone from the families she visited was there to help. Then before Thole learned this he grew to have the strength of a man and his father took him back to help with their farm. So my teacher was all alone just stumbling around in her blind ways. She couldn’t even gather up all the eggs in the hen house. It was an amazing wonder for both of us that day when Master Daniel saw the priest of the pagans trying to sell me to the cooper. Master Daniel told the druid he doesn’t buy children, so I am borrowed. He made a promise to send me back when I’m fully a healer. My teacher says she’s happy I’m here and she even thanks God for that. I think we both need each other.”
“I know that’s true, Anatase. You’re very important to her.”
I can see the doorway from where I’m sitting and I see that Eve is listening to all of this. I’ve some questions for Eve that I wish not to have Anatase hear and I think Eve would like to talk with me also. She sends Anatase on an errand to take a basket of eggs down the hill to the new house where my granddaughter Celeste now lives with a sprouting generation of this family.
Eve’s instruction, “Take along some mint leaves, Anatase, and tell my niece you are staying for tea.”
“Papa, I need to tell you that the promise Daniel made for Anatase was that when she was able to read the remedies and grow the herbs and when she had gathered experience caring for people I would have to send her back to the pagan tribe. I thought she would grow up here, and I would have her with me all the years of her childhood. Then when she’s fully a woman she could decide if she wished to return. But …