Today we have another free story taken from the book Alien Legends. This story is a morality tale. It might be true; it might not. That no longer matters because this tale has taken on such power that it has shaped its world. — Crustias
THE WISEWOMAN’S CHILD
RPI 532.Q44D / RRD 9
Everyone knows that if you want to get help from a wise-woman you must pay for her services; a prayer to the gods, a spell — these things have a price. This story, however, starts with a wise-woman who used her powers to help a friend who had not asked.
Jinesh worked on the local landowner’s farm; being a wise-woman did not put food on the table and she had children to feed. When it came time for the midday meal the workers would gather together and talk. One of Jinesh’s friends was a man named Kestan who was married to a girl from the village. Because Jinesh had children of her own, Kestan asked how long it should take for his wife to conceive a child as they had been married for quite a while. Jinesh reassured him but knew that the time they had waited was not normal. She decided to help Kestan and his wife.
That night she took out her inks and her pens and wrote out the spell for a healthy baby. She took food and drink to her sacred place and left them for the gods and she prayed to the goddess of fertility and her own god to whom she had dedicated her spirit. Within a few months Kestan confided in her that his wife was pregnant. Jinesh was so happy for him. The gods, however, required that Jinesh should pay a price for her good deed and, within two more months, she discovered that she too was pregnant.
Even before the birth Jinesh knew that the baby she carried was special. For a woman of her age to give birth at all there must have been intervention from the gods. The pregnancy went without trouble, no aches or pains, no sleepless nights, none of the usual problems.
When he was born, she called him Ichik, which means ‘special one’, and he was the most beautiful baby ever seen. When Ichik was a baby people would cross the road to come and see him and to touch him. Grown men would ask to hold him, and there was never a shortage of people willing to look after him. As a boy he roamed the town freely. Everyone had time for him and he never went short of food. Ichik spent his days learning from the craftsmen, helping the women with their housework and playing with the other children. Everyone loved him.
When Ichik reached his fifteenth birthday it came time for him to choose his second name, his descriptive name. Most people chose to name themselves after their job, such as Jinesh whose second name was Wisewoman. Many people put off their naming day until they were certain that they had chosen correctly but Ichik was not one of these. In front of friends and family Ichik stepped forward and announced that, from this day onward, he would be known as Ichik Leveler. There was much confusion and those gathered asked him this meant.
“From this day no man may put himself above another,” Ichik declaimed. “None may own the land and make others work it. Each man may work land for himself, villages may share land to be worked by all. Also, none may say that they are the voice of the gods. The wise-women have the ear of the gods but do not presume to speak for them. The priests will be put out of business, for that is what it is, a means of earning money. From this day all men and women will be equal, and my job will be to make it so.”
There were eight others there who had reached their naming day that season and were waiting their turn. The next to take her name was Dahan, Kestan’s daughter. When Ichik had finished she stood up.
“From this day onward I shall be known as Dahan Follower,” she said, and went and stood beside Ichik. The other seven, Nemat, Mohe, Sebish, Sarish, Angho, Figor and Chegot, all did likewise.
Then Ichik Leveler and his eight Followers went from that place to the home of the landowner and turned him out of his huge house. He and his family were given a cottage to live in and money enough for one year, for Ichik said that was time enough to learn a trade. The land was divided up equally amongst all who lived in the village, as was everything the landowner had gained from the hard work of the villagers. When everything was divided equally, Ichik and the Followers went to the temple and tore it down, stone by stone. The priests were allowed to stay in the village if they were willing to work but most left. Those that left were soon to discover that there was nowhere they could go, because Ichik Leveler and his Followers then split up, each traveling to a nearby village and each taking on more Followers. Temples were destroyed and landowners brought down, and so it went, until each and every village was run by the village for the village.
The people of this planet are an insect-like race with four legs and two hand-like structures. This story is from their ancient history and is explanatory of their way of life, which is one of equal rights for all. They have no monetary system, using goods to barter. The story is so ancient it is impossible to tell how much of it is true but Ichik Leveler has become an almost god-like figure and disagreements between people are taken to The Leveler’s Court where nine people are chosen to decide the rights and wrongs of the problem.
If you have enjoyed this tale, we have other stories free to read on our website. City of Khar is an introduction to the Repository, albeit a chilling one. The Green Tailor of Mermos-37 will look familiar at first, but this is not what it appears to be. — Crustias
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