Ciss: "I can't finish my envelope, mom."
Jill: "Your what? What are these called?"
Ciss (bewildered by our laughter): "Envelopes?!"
What words are these have fall'n from me?
Can calm despair and wild unrest
Be tenants of a single breast,
Or sorrow such a changeling be?
This year I slept and woke with pain,
I almost wish’d no more to wake,
And that my hold on life would break
Before I heard those bells again:
That loss is common would not make
My own less bitter, rather more:
Too common! Never morning wore
To evening, but some heart did break.
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
whey, eggs, coffee, yeast, banana, cranberry, strawberry*, guava*, seafood*, fish (white)*, corn, pecans, sesame, asparagus, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms (common), wool, pet dander, weeds, grass, hay, pollen, dust, mold, mildew, cheap metals... life?
Sarina felt her heart breaking.
The ash tree reached out its branches to her as if they were arms. It could not speak, but the princess knew the tree well, and she knew too that this was an offer of help. She stepped closer, brushing the tears from her eyes, and took a deep breath. She wrapped her arms around the tree, pressing herself closer and closer still, and the trunk shifted at her touch, opening itself up and making space for her inside. The king and queen arrived just in time to see her slippered foot vanish, and the bark heal smoothly over the place the princess had stood just moments before.
“NO!” shouted the king. He sat down where he was, and began to cry. “No, no, no. My little Sarina. My princess.” He cried and cried and cried, because he knew he had been wrong, and because he was so sorry, and because he knew that now he would never see his little girl again.
While the king was crying and everyone else who had just arrived was still wondering what had happened, the queen slipped away. Out the gates she ran, as lightly and quickly as she could. Far into the forest, away from the guards and the laws and the dungeon, and the eyes of the heartbroken king.
Every day for a week, the king went out to the courtyard, to stand under the princess’ favorite tree and weep for her some more, and also to feel sorry for himself. But on the last morning, as he approached, he noticed that the leafy branches were covered with tiny new flower buds, where no flower buds had ever been before. When he got closer, and looked up, he forgot all about his tears—for the buds all burst suddenly open, as if on cue, into beautiful soft pink flowers with bright white centers at their heart.
The king knew then that the princess was not really gone. The sweet little petals, floating down, showed him that Sarina was safe now, and happy, and that he was forgiven, and that she loved him still.
And that is all anyone ever needs to know.