1614: iii

During Gilles’ visits, Sister Ruth was on occasion busy with other chores, but Aimée was always in the garden plucking weeds. She welcomed the diversion of his banter and conveyed a great many stories herself. Some Gilles thought were quite made up, but the girl insisted they were true when he questioned her. It seemed she had the habit of stowing herself in cupboards and eavesdropping for amusement. She even admitted sneaking out of bed and climbing to the roof to look in the windows of the neighboring houses.

“I only wanted to see what it was like to be in a family,” she said.

“And what did you learn?” Gilles asked. Aimée shook her head.

“All the children were in bed as I should have been,” she blushed. “But I saw something else. You wouldn’t believe me though.”

“We do not always see what we believe and we do not always believe what we see. That is why we have faith.” Gilles used the moment to feign piety in his borrowed guise. Aimée considered this before she spoke again.

“When I was on the roof,” she began slowly. She glanced around to see if Sister Ruth had returned. Her hand’s twisted around the weeds she still held. Aimée continued in a whisper.

“I saw a dragon,” she said in complete seriousness, “On it’s back sat a man and above his head was a large bubble.”

Gilles’ brow furrowed with disbelief. Aimée knelt down and drew a picture in the dirt with her finger, but it still didn’t make sense to him. She frowned and kicked her foot through the drawing.

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Perhaps if you drew it with ink,” he suggested before saying farewell.

On his next passing, the girl handed him a folded scrap of paper without a word as Sister Ruth called her inside. He unfolded a page from a missal and found drawn in ink what looked like a man sitting in a narrow boat with wings tied underneath a large bubble just as the girl said. It was no dragon except in a child’s mind. He stowed the drawing away and thought about it from time to time as he continued to work on the riddle.

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