As Samuel rode into the clearing, he surveyed his land. The fields had been harvested, and food was stored for the winter. Pines and chestnut trees bordered his farm. It had snowed the night before, and the fields and pasture were blanketed in snow. The sun glistened, and the trees looked like they had been covered in delicate lace that sparkled in the brilliant light.

In the distance, a fire burned in the hearth of his home. The smoke and burning pine wafted in the air. He knew Prudence would be preparing the evening meal. His stomach rumbled at the thought of food, for the man was starving. The kind man had fed the last of his food to the child he had found in the woods.

The little lamb sat in front of him, wrapped in a thick woolen blanket. Old Bartholomew’s gait had rocked her to sleep. The child had been through so much. He didn’t want to disturb her slumber.

As he got closer to his home, Gideon began to bark, signaling Prudence that Samuel had arrived home safe and sound. She came running out of the house, wrapped in her shawl. Laughing as she ran towards the man she loved. As he entered the opened gate, Samuel whispered, “We have a tiny little guest.”

Prudence arched her eyebrows, wondering what Samuel was bringing home now? Another fawn? Another lamb? What kind of animal had he rescued this time?

He pulled away the blanket from his body. Cradled in Samuel’s arm was a tiny little girl. Dark matted hair framed her heart-shaped face. Although the child needed a bath, Prudence could see the child’s beauty with her rosy cheeks and olive complexion. Prudence moved quickly to take the child from her husband. The girl’s eyes fluttered open. Beneath long dark lashes, the child’s dark eyes stared at Prudence. Suddenly, the girl cried out in fear, reaching for Samuel. Her cries cut through the couple, and they rushed to take the girl inside their home.

“Sit,” Samuel told his wife, pointing at the rocker he had fashioned.
He laid the girl in her arms and covered them with the woolen blanket. Then, he grabbed some biscuits from the table and handed them to his wife.

“She’s hungry. Keep her fed while I attend to the horses and the venison. I’ll explain everything when I return,” Samuel promised his wife.

The tiny girl enjoyed the motion of the rocking chair and settled in Prudence’s arms. She smiled when she saw the biscuits, so Prudence broke one in half and gave it to the child. Happily, the child gulped down the biscuit, and she surprised Prudence when she demanded, “More.”

Laughing, Prudence gave the girl the rest of the biscuit. “So where did you come from, little one? You look well-fed and healthy,”

The child laughed and pointed to the last biscuit. Prudence broke it in half and handed it to the girl.

“Ummm umm,” the baby gushed before stuffing the biscuit in her mouth.
She climbed from Prudence’s lap and began to explore the room. Prudence stood and decided to check on the stew. While she was stirring, she felt a tug at her dress. Looking up at Prudence, the child reached for her hand. And Prudence stood frozen on the spot. The child had touched her in a way she never thought was possible.

Writing Prompt:

For today’s prompt, set your story in a very common place.

Photo by Joel & Jasmin Førestbird on Unsplash

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