Saturday, 24 August 2013

Patience and Patience Part 2

A Fate the older Patience taken some trouble avoiding all her life - even once turning her back on a man she’d actually felt something for - was now unceremoniously dumped on her lap.

Patience gazed down at the squirming thing. Pink, soft, stretching her limbs vigorously in some phantom struggle, little Patience fixed a fierce eye on old Patience. Admittedly, old Patience had a rather horrified expression; and her eccentric chic was a far cry from a soft motherly presence, but little Patience overreacted.

She did what she’d been doing from Day 1. She howled.
Wild screeches of passionate outrage issued from her mouth, anger vibrated every atom of her tiny body.
She kicked, she screamed, and she turned an alarming mottled purple.

Old Patience (we must find her another name…) - a woman addicted to self-reliance and efficiency- was overcome by helplessness. Hesitantly she took up little Patience, and holding her at arm’s-length, attempted to soothe her by making humming, clicking and kissing noises. These, of course, served only to inflame little Patience even further. In desperation, old Patience awkwardly cradled little Patience to her bosom.

And here, finally, something did soothe. Not old Patience’s admittedly large (and splendidly displayed) mammalian attributes, but a particularly large chunk of red amber she wore suspended on a fine chain nestled between her breasts. With admirable dexterity for a child her age, little Patience conveyed the pendant to her yowling mouth. She mumbled her toothless gums at it, managing at the same time to stick her fists in her mouth. Silenced, tiny body still hitching out indignant sobs, little Patience looked old Patience in the eye.

Her complexion was an unlovely shade, her dark eyes glossed with tears, and a copious flow of saliva dribbled out of the sides of her mouth and over the tiny fists, her expression was pugnacious and challenging.
And that was when old Patience fell – completely and irrevocably- in love.

Now love, as we well know solves absolutely no problems.
None. Nor does it make nappy-changing easier or baby crap smell better.  It does not inure you from the sudden wash of urine babies - who have only just emptied their thimble sized bladder - can suddenly produce just as you are about to wrap up the freshly-cleaned tushy in a nice clean nappy.

Nope. Poor Patience got it right in the eye. A sparkling fountain of pee suddenly erupted and hit her on the face. Poor Patience gasped, and little Patience produced her very first smile. The tone for their future relationship was thus set: with poor Patience striving to control the uncontrollable, and little Patience beatifically smiling as her poor guardian got it in the eye….

Before you pity poor Patience too much, let me tell you that the older Patience was once the youngest of three sisters: Prudence, Purity and, of course, Patience.

Three pretty old-fashioned names for three most contrary women. Now Mr. and Mrs. Ferraday, the long-suffering parents of the three, were sober God-fearing people who somehow produce a clutch of wildlings. Felicity Ferraday, Poor Patience’s only surviving aunt, sister to her Father, had once labeled them the Three Imps from Hell. Indeed, no three could be imagined as more imprudent, impure or impatient than the three Miss Ferraday.  Until one more Imp joined the family tree, that is. Miss Patience Ferraday-Nell.: our little Patience, henceforth to be know as the Imp.

Manuela Cardiga

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