The village had never quite accepted these newcomers, saw an old man, a silent, foreign daughter, a tinker, as evidence that the world is unforgiving, and not to be trusted. No one knew, for certain, about the tigers, but there were rumors and suppositions and stories. Children were warned to keep their distance, and teenagers dared one another to approach the land, the family that they feared and disapproved of. There was no vandalism, no larceny, no arson, for there was too much uncertainty about the mysterious powers of these strangers. When deliveries began, large vans with markings in foreign script on their side, no one knew what it might be, but in the conservatism endemic to their habits, they worried and disapproved and wondered. The deliveries continued: by lorry, by wagon, by train, strangers with heavy beards and hats with gold braid bringing any number of questionable unknowns to this quiet outpost on the fringe of the forest.
May 12, 2012
reading in the sunshine of a perfect May afternoon