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Chapter 2: Chapter 2 : Never send a boy to do a man’s job.. send a girl.

“Guine! Guinevere!”

[sigh, what does this old hag want this time?]

The little ginger slipped off her bed and made her way to the kitchen where her mother had just taken out fresh bread from the oven.

Gezelle broke a small piece of the bread and placed it on a plate with a glass of warm milk beside it.

“I know how much you love bread when it’s piping hot, straight from the oven.” Gezelle spoke to her daughter.

She walked over to the little ginger and helped her onto the table and smiled as she watched her blow the bread before putting it in her tiny little mouth.

Six years had already gone by since Guinevere was born and everyday she was growing more beautiful and more intelligent.

.....

Her parents were astonished by how fast their child was developing. By the age of three Guinevere was already able to speak and read. By the time she was four, she could play the flute, and by age five she already had a tutor and was excelling in all her courses.

“Do you like it sweetie? I added raisins” Gezelle spoke.

“Mmh hmm.” Guinevere responded with her mouth full.

“I’m glad.” The woman planted a kiss on the girl’s forehead. “Now eat up, your tutor Mrs Fletcher will be here any minute.”

“She’s just doing it for formality, there’s nothing more she can teach me.” Guinevere responded.

“What do you mean?” Mrs Strongbow questioned her daughter.

Guinevere took the last sip of her milk and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I’d suggest you stop giving her your coins. I read all her books in advance.”

The little girl slipped herself off the chair, trying to pull down the cup and plate with her so she could give them to her mother. But unfortunately, her little size worked against her and sent the dishes crushing to the floor.

[damn these tiny weak limbs! Can’t I grow any faster?]

Gezelle rushed to her daughter’s side and inspected her. “Are you okay sweetie?” She spoke in a panic, “are you hurt?”

Guinevere shook her head, indicating she was fine. “I’m okay. But I still think you should give Mrs Fletcher the boot.”

“I’ll speak to her when she arrives to see how far you’ve gone.” Gezelle spoke as she picked up the dishes from the floor. “Then I’ll decide wether she gets the boot or not.”

“Well alright, but I’m just looking out for you you know.”

Gezelle chuckled, her baby girl was only six but she could hold conversations better than most women she knew. She was truly a blessing.

Richard Strongbow sneaked into the kitchen and hoisted Guinevere up to his shoulders. “How’s my little princess doing?”

[I’m too old for this old man, but fine, I guess I’ll play along]

“I’m okay father.” Guine responded.

“And how’s my queen.” The man spoke as he kissed Gezelle softly on the lips

[gross]

“I’m okay honey.” The woman responded. “Would you like some bread?”

“I’ll have some when I return, thank you honey.”

“Return?” Gezelle asked her husband. “Where are you going?”

“Hunting season is upon us.” Richard replied. “I’m going to catch us some game, and maybe catch up a bit with the boys. Greg’s son is seven now and old enough to learn some archery skills.”

Gezelle put the dishes away and turned to her husband. She hated that he didn’t have someone to teach archery or take hunting. She had Guinevere but her husband had no one.

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t have another child and give you a son my love.”

Richard looked into his wife’s eyes and felt his heart sink, he put Guinevere down and pulled his wife into his embrace.

“No honey don’t say things like that, you and Guine are more than enough for me.” Richard spoke. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Guinevere looked up at her parents and pouted.

[come on Guinevere you’re not suppose to care. You can’t allow yourself to get attached to these people. Just like everyone else, they will die and you will live on. Get yourself together.]

Richard looked down when he felt a little hand tagging on his pants. “Can I go?”

Both parents looked down at the girl in shock.

Gezelle crouched down and placed her hands on the little girl’s shoulders. “Sweetie, I know you want to spend time with your father but going hunting is for boys.”

“Says who?” Guinevere responded

“Well, it’s always been like that.” The woman responded sheepishly.

“Well maybe it’s time things change.” The little girl spoke.

She walked over to her father and tightly wrapped herself around his leg. “My mind is made up!” She declared.

The two parents looked at each other and sighed in unison. They knew how stubborn their daughter could be, it shocked them how such a small girl could be filled with so much fire.

*

“Richard! Good to see old boy how’s the wife?”

“She’s well Greg thank you.” Richard responded. “And I’m sure Susan is well too.”

“As always.”

Greg Foreman and Richard Strongbow had been friends since they were children, so had their wives. They practically did everything together and even got married on the same day.

Unlike Richard, Greg had been blessed with six boys which made Richard a bit envious of his friend. But after he and his wife had Guinevere, Richard felt complete with his beautiful, smart little girl.

Greg squint his eyes when he noticed a little head peeking from behind Richard’s legs. “And who do we have here? Seems we have a stowaway.”

“I hope you don’t mind.” Richard responded. “This is Guinevere my daughter, she’s just here to watch her old man catch some nice juicy game.”

“Oh, nice to meet you lady Guinevere.” Greg responded as he shook the little girls hand.

“Actually, I’m here to catch a big juicy rabbit.” Guinevere responded. “I’ll plunge an arrow right in its fat little gut.”

“Ah she’s a feisty one this one.” Greg responded with a chuckle.

The man then turned and called out to someone who was standing a few feet away from them.

“Jillian! Come here and say hello.”

A little boy who looked like a miniature version of Greg Foreman walked up to them and nodded.

“This is my youngest son Jillian, maybe you can let him catch that juicy rabbit for you.”

The boy blushed lightly and stretched out his hand towards Guinevere. “It would be my pleasure to catch some game for you.”

“Attaboy.” Greg patted his son on the back

[oh brother]

“Alright then.” Richard spoke. “Shall we begin.”

*

“Why are we just squatting here? Aren’t we going to miss out on all the action?”

“Father says first we have to observe and see how it’s done.” Jillian whispered. “It will take a few days till we’re able to use a bow and arrow. Besides, you’re a girl, you’d just hurt yourself.”

[why you little..]

“Here they come.”

Guinevere peeked over the bushes and saw her father and Mr Foreman sneaking up on a deer. The two men inched closer to the animal, closing in on it from opposite sides.

The deer was startled by the sound of tree brunches breaking and began moving towards Richard.

The man aimed his arrow at the animal and launched it, lodging itself in the deer’s neck.

“Good shot Richard!” Greg exclaimed. “You’ve always been quite the hunter.”

The children crawled out from under the bush and joined their fathers.

Guinevere smiled when she saw the dead deer laying on the ground.

[This old man is pretty good, I could pick up a thing or two from his skills]

“Daddy isn’t too bad is he?” Richard spoke as he rustled Guinevere’s hair.

The girl nodded. “Next time I wanna try. Watching you have all the fun from a dirty old bush is boring.”

Richard chuckled. “I promised your mother I wouldn’t let you hunt, it’s too dangerous.”

Guinevere sighed and looked away. She missed wielding a bow and arrow, it’s one of the few things that made her happy, and she was darn good at it too.

.....

Seeing his daughter’s sad expression, Richard took off his quiver and placed it on her back. He then handed her his bow with a smile.

“I’ll let you carry these home if you quit your pouting.”

Guinevere’s face lit up instantly, it had been so long since she’d held a weapon. She looked at the bow which looked massive in her little hand with awe. It was beautiful.

“But promise not to tell your mother.”

“I promise.” Guinevere responded.

*

The group walked slowly through the forest towards their village, the sun was almost setting making the autumn colors of the trees look bright.

Guinevere had always loved this season, even in her past lives. It was ironic how it looked so beautiful yet everything was dying.

As they walked, the girl heard a rustling coming from a nearby bush. She stopped and went to inspect it, maybe it was a rabbit, she could kill it and have her mother prepare it. Gezelle was very good at making rabbit stew.

The blue eyed girl peeked into the bush and saw the fattest white rabbit she’d ever seen.

Meanwhile, the group had forged ahead not noticing the girl had remained behind.

“So Guinevere do you want to come over and play tomorrow?”

No answer.

“Guinevere?”

Jillian turned around and noticed that the girl was gone. “Stop! Guinevere is lost!”

The two men turned around in a panic, dropping the deer they had been carrying.

Richard began running back down the trail, his heart in his throat and panic on his face. Where was his little girl? He begged the gods to keep his only child safe.

“Guinevere!” Richard called out.

“Guinevere!”

“Where are you?!”

Richard felt the ground beneath him start to spin. “Guinevere!”

Just then, he spotted the little ginger aiming his bow and arrow towards a rabbit.

“Guinevere no!”

Swoosh....

The arrow hit the rabbit right in the stomach, and the girl ran towards the rabbit and picked it up by its ears.

Richard ran towards his daughter and embraced her. He then pulled away and looked at her furiously.

“Why did you do that?! Don’t you know you could have been hurt!”

“I’m sorry.” The little girl responded. “I just wanted to show you that I could hunt just like you.”

[wait why am I apologizing?! Piss off old man, I do what I want.]

Richard hugged his daughter one more time. “You’re a great hunter sweetheart, just please be more careful, you scared me half to death.”

The girl nodded and hugged her father back. “I promise to be more careful.”

[it’s official! I’ve lost my mind]

Greg and his son watched the scene completely dumbfounded, how could such a little girl kill a rabbit with such a large bow on the first try? What was Richard teaching this child?

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