Mary was very good at her weaving. She designed intricate tapestries. When we discovered a hump forming, from all those days at the loom, we had her stop. We sold the loom. She was to marry soon, and we didn't want anything get in the way of her chances. We knew she would have many offers, but we wanted the best for her. She was very upset, though. She didn't see the significance of being seen as well-bred. She spent more time outside then. I watched her for signs. But I knew the sun and the earth and all good growing things would do her well. They would heal her, I told myself. After that, Mary started bringing home robins, babies, orphans everywhere. She claimed the foxes had eaten the mother. Soon our abode was a mess, there were nests and excrement everywhere, from all of these little animals. And so I did what every good housewife would do, I took them all outside, where they belonged. Joachim found them twittering about, Mary , crying in her room. he took pity on them, he did what he had to do, he brought them to the river...
Well, that was too much for her young, sweet soul. We had ostracized her from her friends, much earlier, but now I started encouraging her to seem them, to go out into the streets, not to mind the dust and her clothes.
Mary didn't leave her room, or the house much. She would play in corners with her fingers, or with her dolls, sitting in the dust. She would accompany us to Temple, she never refused us that. Eventually, she started following me around on my chores and errands, as she did when she was so very little. Sometimes, while waiting for me at the Market, she would watch kids, girls her age, or boys, from the shade of an olive tree. She would only follow them with her eyes.
I tried to stay a long time. I had a reputation for haggling and gossiping in those days. Just to pass the time so Mary would desire her own kind long enough, and join in. But I never once did see her play with the others. When I knew she would tire of watching the carnival of children, sheíd return to me, a quiet noonday shadow.
It was the Temple that saved her. The Temple took her on, under it's
cloak. But don't let Joachim know I told you that. He is too proud to
see what happened, when we first took that loom away. The Temple did her
right. The Temple is where she met Josef, or rather, where he met her.
He saw her for the pure and beautiful soul that we brought her up to be.
As did all the others, of course. And he married her. The Temple drew
straws for her. All the unmarried men wanted to vouch for her, our prize.
I was so proud.