Spinning by Celeritas

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Story Notes:

For B2MEM 2011, Day 18: The act of kindness or hospitability usually comes from a generous heart. Write a story or poem, or create a piece of art where your character displays this virtue.

When Dora turned twenty-five, her back hurt so much that Mother let her don the bodice early—not be courted early, mind, but just wear the bodice.  Unfortunately, most lads didn’t know the difference, and they were so sweet and kind to her that she couldn’t help but be kind back.  Soon they were asking to go on walks with her, and she said ‘yes’ to all of them, for they weren’t actually courting, after all.


But one thought of the heartbreak that would result if she told them she was too young kept Dora’s mouth shut.  As it was, Drogo—the pest—was all too happy to tell them, and once Mum and Dad got wind of it, they shut most of the lads away.


They came back in redoubled force on her twenty-seventh, and Dora was only too happy to entertain them.  She got so many presents left for her, and used to try to match each one with its giver.  She knew she’d have to pick one eventually, but in the meantime…


She had narrowed it down to one by the time she turned thirty, but on that very day three different lads proposed—oh, what was she to do?  She begged them time to think it over, but the very next day all three of them had learned of the others’ plans, bruised one another terribly, and then came to her, demanding what sort of game she was trying to play at.


Word spread quickly, and the suitors flew away, like fleas when a dog jumps in water.  She finally got up the nerve to ask one—her one, the one that she’d sworn she’d say yes to—and he laughed (laughed!) and told her that she’d acquired herself a reputation, and only a fool would think to marry her now.


He was no fool.


Dora had a good long cry about the whole thing, and talked to her mother, and learned that what she had only half listened before to was the very thing that she was now learning—the hard way.


Eight months later, a Dora who was considerably more sober received a letter in the mail from her second cousin, four years her junior, who was turning twenty-seven and worried about the attention she would receive.  Dora sat down to pen her a reply.


Although you should try to be so in other ways, dear Prisca, a lass cannot be generous when it comes to her favours.  It only will come to ruin in the end, for both yourself and that special someone that you hope to find.

Chapter End Notes:

In "my" Shire, lasses are eligible to be courted at age 27 and to be married at age 30.  One of the ways they show eligibility is through switching from simple dresses to shifts, skirts, and bodices--a style that is much easier on a full figure.

Dora Baggins, she of the "reams of good advice," never married.  Although apparently she only began writing reams in her forties, there's nothing to say she didn't get an early start, especially if she had some hard-won wisdom to back it up.

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