Helen Gilbert


Once, a short time ago, in a land of fire and ash, there lived a man with his wife in a dusty farmhouse on the edge of a something you might have called a rolling hill, though it really wasn't much more than a hump in the pnd. For many years, they dreamed of sons to help tend the sheep but the sandman brought them a daughter instead. They named her Mari and the woman knitted a golliwog for the cradle because they were too poor to buy a doll. Before long, the baby grew into a little girl. She was plain and a bit tubby with freckles on her nose, but her parents agreed that she was really no trouble. When it became clear that she would be an only child, they accepted their fate and forgot their dreams, for they were simple people, hard-working, mostly honest, and only occasionally given to violence.



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