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Mary’s journal

This was originally the opening of the book.

I barely notice the freezing, damp February air or the screaming babby in my arms, as hungry as the rest of us. What holds my attention is the person lying on a bed of straw at the other end of our mud cabin, thrashing and moaning in the grip of a deadly fever. When I felt ma’s forehead a short time ago, her frail body seemed like it would burst into flame any moment. My da, normally a tall, strong man stoops over her, and in the flickering candlelight I can see the dazed, confused expression on his face.  

 

Da leaves Ma’s side to come stand beside me. “Mary, I’m goin’ ta fetch the healer ta look at your Ma.  She’s said she don’t want me ta, but she’s getting’ worse and I’m worried about ‘er.”  Even though he talks to me, his eyes are fixed on Ma. “Are you able ta look after the children fer me while I'm gone?”

“Aye, Da.”

“Thank you.” He brushes my shoulder and immediately heads out the door to fetch the healer in the hope that he can cure what ails Ma.                                                      More entries to follow