By Hans Wilhelm
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Additional info for A Christmas Journey
Dark and watchful, with short, sturdy legs like a donkey. They lived in the rolling green hill country of northern France, far away from Paris. Far away from everything. Theirs was a land of wide, slow rivers and tall ancient oaks. In summer the fields filled up with poppies, their red upflung skirts glowing in the sun. In winter their forest was silent as a church. They were common people, unschooled, sunburned. Their hands and feet were calloused. The new lambs and goats slept with them inside the house during the spring frosts, huddled and snuffing in the red glow of the hearth.
Big faces, leering. Valerie with a wicked look in her eyes. "Look at little Saintie Pie," she said, coming closer. " Jehanne stood up. Her hands had begun to sweat. Valerie took another step closer. She was taller than Jehanne, perhaps a year or two older. A big, sturdy girl with a coarse, pale face, large breasts, and small black eyes. Odd little marks like sparrow tracks on her cheeks. Her clothes were always tattered. Everyone knew her father was a drunk. Everyone knew she'd go into the hayloft with any boy who asked.
It's all perfect, all as it must be, she sees. Even the worst things. Even the boy Volo, in his cage in Madame de Pois' barn, with his gray cauliflower head and his tiny slanted eyes. Or mad King Charles, running naked through the palace in Paris, throwing his own shit against the windows. The Goddons and Burgundians thundering through the hills, setting whole villages on fire, tearing apart the women and children, stealing land, cows, sheep, gold, stealing their entire country out from under them.
A Christmas Journey by Hans Wilhelm