Historical setting: 602 C.E. The secular church in the Vosges
Hannah is a no-nonsense, eight-year-old. She would be just like Ana was at eight, but that Ana’s own mother had given her away in fear of her special gifts; and for Hannah, we, her family, have an appreciation of these gifts in a girl child. The difference is that Ana was like a stray puppy always longing for any kindness, and Hannah assumes the world is a place of unconditional love. She expects I am always here for her even in my seemingly helpless state. So this isn’t about rescuing me to life but more purposed with getting a good look at a terrible wound as a learning opportunity.
Now Simon is pondering the immediate problem that we have — one donkey and a cart and also a wagon. Greg and Gabe took both horses home last night and the white horse is what would pull this wagon I am in. But here they are with one donkey and a cart and a wagon. Simon is befuddled.
Hannah wants me up and out and into the cart so she can get a better look at the wound. And Simon wants nothing to do with this wagon towed here by the white horse, so I’m thinking I will have to move. But thankfully Ana has a better plan.
“Simon will take the donkey cart home with Hannah and the younger boys, then bring the mule back up here so Papa can stay in the wagon until we have the older boys to help him into bed.”
Ana’s decision is always one to follow. Simon arrives walking the mule that tows the wagon to take Ana and the baby and me, back to our cottage.
Greg and Gabe have fully gathered their wakefulness for the day when Hannah sends them out to help me into the house. I can’t really tell if all my neediness is simply pain, or if I really can’t just get up and walk, but right now I’m just happy that two nearly teens have the strength of men.
Hannah starts to tell her older brothers just how I should be put so that she can get a good vantage point for the medical lesson. But now I’m grateful that Ana notices that what Hannah really needs to learn is something of empathy.