maydayqueen: (turn away)
Frea, The May Day Queen ([personal profile] maydayqueen) wrote2016-05-24 05:43 pm
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Obligations & Good Sense (Writing Prompt)

"I am under no obligation to make sense to you."

Frea can sound very imperious when she wants to--or she could, if she wasn't laughing halfway through the attempt. She probably shouldn't laugh. It's not really the farmer's fault, he's only a man and one who's spent so long staring at the dirt he can no longer see the soil. The farm wasn't badly situated. There was water from both a well and a slow river weaving along one edge. There were trees planted generations earlier to shelter the crops from summer sun and winter wind. The house was handsome, if run-down, and the barn was sturdy.

But everything had been there too long. Land never allowed to rest is as exhausted as the farmer trying to eek out a living on it. But there was nothing to be done, not immediately. "Sometimes, the only solution is to let everything sleep."

He didn't like that answer. How is a farmer who doesn't farm supposed to feed his family? Surely, the long winter would starve them, and didn't she know how bad it had been the year before? Nevermind that the Nexus is a land of plenty--he had no coin to pay and no understanding that he could pick up and move. His family had roots deep as the trees his grandfather had planted. They weren't going anywhere.

And civilized people don't forage, his wife had complained. It's what separated them from the beasts. Frea kept her thoughts on that subject to herself. Nearby woods would have seen them through, lean but alive--but no. No, they had to grow their own, from their seeds on their land. There was only one solution left to propose.

"Bury the trees."

Trees and hay, buried under turf, make good planting beds for decades. The land beneath would have time to come alive again on its own. Old trees at the end of their lives could be cleared to make way for young fruit trees able to provide. It was the perfect solution, to anyone who understood these things.

"Bury the trees," she explains again, this time with a little more detail and a little less patience. She could make the land give the best yields in a generation, sure, that would be easy--but it wouldn't be a permanent solution, and she wouldn't be here forever. They had to learn a better way if they wanted to survive.