Friday, August 14, 2009

Maiden Second

This is portion of a three part series. Here follows the tale of the second maiden.

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who loved her father very much. She lived with her family in moderate circumstances in a large city. She was not pretty, in fact, she was solemn and introverted, and unless she smiled, her countenance was not a friendly one. She was strong and self-willed, and her mother was at loss how to manage her.
Thus left to herself unless giving displeasure, and disinclined by nature to perceive the needs of those around her, she grew up with scarce a word of praise, many of blame, and at last grew convinced that she was displeasing to all around her.
She buried her pains by delving into fictitious stories of her own and others’ making, and often spent all her leisure hours submersing her sorrow in this literary distraction. While she did her duty as she perceived it, she trundled on in her own world, blind to the needs and feelings of those around her.
She accepted responsibility for her faults but was helpless, in her immaturity, to correct them, and under the continuous blame and disapproval she lost all confidence in her ability to please others and pursued her way with no regard for their approbation.
She may, at this time, have been led astray but that she was removed from all her acquaintances in two circumstances. She was removed from public school to be educated at home, and her family moved to a small country town.
Her nature made her unwilling and unmotivated to seek new acquaintances, and she was now thrown wholly upon the one resource she trusted with absolute certainty – the Word of God. In the more remote location, she thrilled in His Creation, and had more opportunity for wholesome pursuits that relieved her of her need for literary escape.
Her journey was an inward one with little outward evidence. She became less tempestuous with growing maturity, and was increasingly obedient and respectful in her behaviour, but on the whole, she continued in her aloneness, improving only inwardly for One Who guided her with love for truth and the reward of achievement and did not drive her with blame or disapproval.
Inwardly strong, she set for herself a personal code of conduct, and in this manner was saved from the pitfalls that lead to rebellion. Though often appearing proud to others, she cared little for their opinion. She respected her elders because of their office, but there were very few, if any, in whom she confided with any measure of trust or deep respect. She submitted because it was required of her; seldom was it won from her.
There were only two people that drew the best from her in her early teen years. In latter years there were one or two others, but her parents resented that she should give others what they had failed to win and was due them, and feeling this, she withdrew even further and was a greater frustration to them. Her father could not articulate what was lacking, and she could not understand what he wanted.
In her later teen years, she never failed to do what was right and even excelled in it, but her parents always felt the loss of her trust, and her achievements failed to satisfy them.
She did her utmost, as she grew, to fulfil her duty to them, but could never establish the trust so lacking.
Then, in the misty once-upon-a-time, a young man saw her and took note of her. He watched her from a distance for quite some time, but finally approached her parents for permission to win her.
The girl agreed to his advances, but gave him little outward encouragement. Many wondered what he saw in her, and she wondered herself, but he persisted, and finally won her trust, then her regard, and finally her love. When she knew she could give him everything, she agreed to marry.
Within months of her impending marriage, her father made it abundantly clear to her that she had failed to give satisfaction as a daughter. Devastated at such a sentence after all her efforts, she went into her marriage with a broken heart, but little regret for what she left.
Her young husband drew the best from her, and within months she was a confident, radiant specimen of young wifehood, and her few acquaintances were only left to wonder at the mystery of it, her parents puzzled as to their failure, and even more mystified by their success.