My earliest childhood was filled with poverty, this is true. But it was also filled with love and a lot of laughter. I would sit and play in the dirt as my mother weeded and sowed the farm’s small crops, and sometimes I would ‘help’ by tearing up dandelions as she threw them out of the way into a heap. *chuckles* Oh, those were such blessed times, my friend.
As I grew older I realised that none of the local children would speak to me. They would huddle in corners together and stare at me, whispering to each other. I tried to ignore them, but it hurt to be the focus of such childish gossip. I understand something of what both Gunther and Mortimer have gone through as children: the finger-pointing and laughter, the cruel names and taunting because you are ‘different’. And, worst of all, the backs turning when you try to make friends. Ah, children can be so cruel.
I helped Maman more around the farm as I grew, making myself useful wherever I could. A few good seasons saw us able to sell enough spare produce to buy a cow, and then another. The strange boy with the red hair became a regular curiosity in the market place as he silently handed over fruits and vegetables in exchange for copper coins. I spoke but little back then, knowing I was not wanted in that place.
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