Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Ballad of Sweet Jane

Those of you who've been reading my blog since December may remember the story of Sordid Johan, a particularly demented individual who made several careers in farming. Let me tell you about his cousin, Sweet Jane. Those of you who know me in real life may think you know which Jane I'm talking about, but you're wrong. That one probably doesn't even have a sordid cousin.

Sweet Jane was a caring soul, who lived in a small wooden shack with her partner Liliana. They'd met at university where Liliana had been studying forestry and Jane had been looking for a husband. An alcohol-fuelled night on a field trip showed Jane that she didn't really want a husband at all, she wanted Liliana. Together they set up house.

Times were tough. Jane hadn't graduated, and wasn't qualified for anything. Liliana grew trees, but had trouble with anything edible. One desperate day Jane went fishing and Liliana "found" some sheep and slaughtered them. The empty plowed fields outside the hut seemed symbolic of an empty future.

One day Jane said to Liliana, "Why don't we put some of this wheat in the ground, instead of just keeping it lying around the house?" Liliana's botany lessons suggested such a thing might work, and while she was out planting forests the next day she did just that. Astonishingly, the wheat seeds turned into wheat plants.

Whilst continuing to eat sheep, the future was looking brighter for Jane and Liliana. They harvested some of Liliana's forests, and made plans to experiment with putting vegetables in the ground to see what would happen. Jane's rock garden had grown ominously large, which gave Liliana an idea... she built an oven and baked the wheat to make bread. No more lamb! The future was bright indeed! Yet, still, Jane felt unfulfilled... she needed something Liliana couldn't give her.

Babies. Sweet Jane dearly wanted babies. Lots of them. One day while Liliana was working hard on building their house, Jane secretly visited a nearby village where there'd been a horrible massacre. Coincidentally, it was the village where her cousin Johan lived. Apparently the parents of three adorable triplets had been horribly murdered, and the words "red right hand" were written on the walls in the victims' blood. Late that night Jane returned home carrying three baby girls.

She named the girls Hilda, Hattie and Holly. Jane nursed the babies so they grew up big and strong. By the age of two the girls were going fishing and sheep-rustling by themselves, which was just as well because Liliana couldn't cope with the excess work of feeding three new mouths. The girls worked furiously hard, and many improvements were made to the house - a pottery, a joinery, and stone walls! Sweet Jane was happy.

Editors Notes: K Deck, Sweet Jane played by Wet Nurse, Liliana played by Forester. Score 56 points (target 50). No minor improvements. Hilda, Hattie and Holly appear courtesy of "Song of Joy" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Yes, it's likely all of my Agricola stories will be in poor taste.

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