After the badger dream I did a little research. I knew badgers are associated with aggressiveness, as in once they get started they never let up, which is pretty much how I was being with Cody in the dream. Badgers are also associated with gifts of the earth, like healing with roots and minerals, and they are associated with storytelling. I guess this storytelling bit is because they can be a little gruff and direct, so telling stories can be a better way to communicate for badger types, less off-putting than their standard delivery. I can definitely be a little too direct, but I thought to myself, I don’t really have any stories to tell people, well, not those kind of stories–meaningful stuff, you know. That night:
There’s this girl, when she’s 16 she goes to Europe. She’s in one of those old towns and she does something wrong. Some kind of taboo that would seem fine unless you knew better, like maybe she touched the fountain in the center of the town at night or something. She gets home and after a while she starts receiving signs. Signs that things are not okay, as a result of this thing she did.
She lives with her brother and mother and father in a two story house of grayed wood. One evening she is out in the back yard. It’s raining a bit, there is still enough light that she can look at the garden. An English postman comes up to the alley-side gate. She’s goes to him and he hands her a package. He looks at her as though he knows something sorrowful is to befall her. She begins to take the situation more seriously.
The package contains a fake passport and other things needed so she can go back to Europe. It also contains a novel. At this point she decides it’s time she tells her father what happened. She goes inside. Her brother seems concerned about what was going on with the postman. Her mother and father are there too. She begins to tell her father the story.
Later, when they are about to go to Europe (her father, brother and herself), she’s sitting in class with her brother, then standing outside just under the eaves by the track–it’s almost time for gym class–a lady comes up to her brother. She stops him from going out onto the field. She says she needs to ask him some questions. Seems innocent enough, as soon as she has his attention, she and two men grab him like they are arresting him and take him away.
She goes back to class, realizing that she needs to go to Europe immediately. She gets up and leaves class. Maybe going right away will rescue her brother, but she wasn’t supposed to go with him, so that may be why he was taken.
I’m reading the above story in an old book (the one given to the girl in the story). I run into my friend in line one day, it’s Amber, from grade school. She is looking very much like my friend Rachel. I ask her if she’s read the story. She says, “Actually, one time Megan decided to write a retelling of the story and I reviewed it for her (to help with editing). The story was grammatically correct, but it just wasn’t all there.” She keeps saying how it was grammatically correct, but… I ask her what she means. “Well, the story is this incredibly poignant tale of the last two (?weeks, months, years?) of her life-” “Whoa, stop there.” I am shocked about this information. I hadn’t gotten that far. I ask her some questions hoping that the book ends up happier than the story, or not as tragically. Not so, she dies because she doesn’t do what she’s supposed to do (to get out of her curse). At this point, I reenter the story.
She starts her journey back to Europe with her father.
Her father’s sitting in a chair across from mine, he is leaning back in a high back comfy chair with his hands folded behind his head. He is recalling what happened while I go through the story. He says he remembers the time very well. “It was a really wonderful time,” he recalls with fondness. I ask why.
Amber explains: “They go back to this small town in France. There is a boy in bed. He is the same age as the girl. He’s not an invalid, he’s just been waiting for her there. They are to be wed. The father falls in love with the boys mother, (he’s not with her mother any more apparently,) he has a very special time with her. They take trips back and forth to Europe to get to know the boy–it becomes a very rich situation for her father. Lots of happiness associated with the trips. The boy and girl get along. He mostly talks to her from bed. He still waits there for her. It’s a surprisingly happy situation for all involved, considering she is to avoid some awful fate by getting together with this man.
In the end, the girl decides she can’t marry the boy. Nothing seems particularly wrong, she just has so much to do and see in this life. As a result of not marrying him by her 18th birthday, she drops dead.
I ask Amber about this. By way of possible explanation: Well, she and the boy had decided not to become intimate, or even kiss, before being wed. This was his preference, I believe, and she seemed okay with it. But, perhaps she was worried that it wouldn’t be what she dreamed of, and forgetting the gravity of her situation, which is never real enough to the main character until it’s too late, and since she is a young impetuous thing, the kind who breaks taboos in the first place, she decided to skip the marriage, and died. Just a theory.
I woke up thinking: “fable”. Now I have a story to tell, and to think on.