Daisy stood at the starting line and kissed her frog for luck. A long-legged young man arose from the frog’s place and cleared his throat.
“Are you a princess?” Cedric worried he was lost.
“Daddy calls me Princess.”
The jumping contest official told them they’d need to move.
Daisy took Cedric’s hand. “Daddy’ll know what to do.” She pulled him into the chaos of the county fair.
Cedric slipped through her fingers and disappeared into a fortuneteller’s booth. She handed Cedric a tarnished lamp. When he rubbed the dust away, a genie appeared and Cedric found himself in another story.
Lottie perched at table, beheld a patterned pysansky preserved in waxed glory. ”Exquisite egg.”
Nina sipped tea. “Family heirloom.”
“European,” Lottie asked.
“A tale from Ukraine goes with it. A girl found hundreds of golden birds stiff with cold, helped a few, and found homes for the rest. ”
“How kind.” Would that there were more kindness.
“In spring, the villagers who’d fostered them released the birds who Easter next flew to each house. This egg and hundreds of others appeared on doorsteps throughout the village, a thanks from the grateful birds.”
“A beautiful story, more so even than the eggs.”
Little John put down his bible. That story, David and Goliath, ‘minded him of his own troubles with Big John who’d killed LJ’s horse and his grandmother; woulda killed LJ except LJ told a sleight of hand story that BJ took hook, line, and sinker. It was the sinker that killed BJ. That man was so greedy, he pleaded to be tied up in a sack and dumped in the deepest part of the ocean. LJ’d convinced BJ there was a herd of cows underwater for the taking. BJ deserved the lie. LJ deserved the peace that came from it.
Inspired by a black Portuguese folktale in Virginia Hamilton’s, The People Could Fly.