Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2314070-Valentines-Hawk
by MayDay
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Animal · #2314070
Mara sees a hawk on Valentine's day, and wonders what it might mean...
Mara glanced out the window every Valentines Day. She would stare for hours on end, waiting. She was nearing her twentieth birthday, and Mara desperately wanted to know what kind of man she would marry. She hoped it wasn’t a wryneck. How would she live with herself if she was doomed to the life of an unmarried maid? Mara rested her elbows on the windowsill and her chin on her hands. Watching intently, she thought she saw a bird flash in and out of view. She gasped. What was it? She peered intently at where the bird had landed. She was relieved to see it wasn’t a wryneck. But...what was it? A hawk. A hawk? What did that mean? Mara stared at the bird closely. No, it couldn’t mean a hawk. A hawk didn’t mean anything. But no other birds came that day. Laying in her bed that night, Mara thought about the hawk. What did it mean?

The next day, Mara went to observe the construction of a new church building. Mara was excited to attend a church to learn about her Lord. Then she saw a man high up, a plasterer, begin to slip and tumble. Mara bolted to her feet. Nobody seemed to notice the falling man. Mara stared in horror, pacing to and fro, trying to think. A bit away was a large lake she used to swim in as a child.
“Sir!” Mara shouted up at the falling man. “Sir! Prithee, set thine aim for the waters!”
The flailing man glanced at her, then pushed off the side of the building with his feet. People were gathering now, pointing at the man as he dove for the water. As he approached the ground, the man flipped and impacted the water feet-first. People ran to the lake excitedly. Was he okay? There was nothing but the ripples from his landing for a moment. Mara held her breath. At last, a head surfaced the water, gasping. His arms were churning up water. Everyone cheered as the man climbed out of the water. The foreman helped him out. Shivering, he started back to the construction site. Then he glanced back, eyes searching. Finally, his eyes rested on Mara.
“Many thanks. Prithee tell me your name?” he said.
“I’m called Mara,” she replied, curtsying. The man nodded once and turned to go.

A knock on the door. Mara stood to answer it. She would do anything to get away from her celebrating family. It was her twentieth birthday, and her family was much too crowding. On the other side of the door stood the man from the other day, the plasterer. Mara stepped back in surprise. He seemed shocked to see her, as well.

“Greetings,” he said. “Art thou the damsel at the construction site that recent morn?”

Mara nodded uneasily.

“Forsooth,” she replied slowly. “And who art thou?”

“I am Maxim, son of Albert. Art thine parentes here this day, Mara?”

Mara nodded hesitantly.

“Mightest I be granted the blessing to speak with them?”

Mara was so surprised she didn’t respond. Instead, she ran to the other room and whispered in her father’s ear. He stood abruptly and walked into the other room. There was a long moment before her father came back with Maxim. Her father opened his mouth to speak…and that day, Mara found out what a hawk sighting on Valentine’s Day meant. A plasterer. Mara married Maxim only a week later.
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