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Her mother rebuked her. ―Now I am not going to hear another word of this! You get
yourself to church right this instant!‖
Andiette was frustrated but left the cottage. She started to go back to the chapel, but
then stopped. No, she was sure she was right. There was no time. She went out into the
shed behind her house and stole her father‘s hunting knife and ran into the woods.
The villagers called him ―Petit Paul.‖ Paulie was short for his age, but was a nice
boy, although incredibly shy and quiet. He did not play very much with the other
children, as he spent most of his time working for his father in their field. Paul liked to
build things out of metal. He hoped to be a blacksmith someday and spent much of his
free time watching the local blacksmith hone his craft. This afternoon, it had
thunderstormed much of the day, so there was no plowing work to be done. Paul went
out behind the cottage, underneath a piece of wood that he had strung up on a post to give
himself shelter, and, took out the crude metal plow that his father used for the fields. His
father‘s plow composed of three parts; the long metal piece which attached to the yoke
for the horses, the chassis of the plow, which slid along the ground, and the sharp metal
blade which cut the earth. Paul had gotten the idea to attach large metal wheels to the
plow. It should not be too difficult to weld on the axle and then attach the wheels. If he
could successfully add wheels, he figured he could reduce his time in the fields
substantially and make his father happy.
Paul‘s father, Anton, was never happy. He was an insecure man who took out his
feelings of low self-esteem on his son, frequently beating him mercilessly. Anton was
not a very good farmer, and when he finally got out of bed to plow the fields, he usually
quit after a short time and went into town to drink. Paul lived in constant fear, but he
hoped that with one of his inventions, he could someday win over his father‘s love and
He took out a long metal pipe which he planned to use for the axel. He slid the
center of a wooden wheel down the length of the metal axel and fastened it in place with
a metal washer, which he welded onto the axle with a hot poker that he had taken from
the fire. Then he took the cutting tool and punched holes in the metal chassis of the plow.
Unfortunately, however, when he punched the second hole, his hand, slick from the rain,
slipped and he sliced the open palm of his hand with the cutting tool. The pain was pretty
bad. He ran inside the cottage to ask his mother for something to cover the wound. He
was binding his wound with his mother when his father came through the door. He
clearly had been drinking wine all day with some of the other men in town. He was
drenched with rain and smelled badly.
―This cursed rain! It‘s been raining for five days now. How can we plow the fields
with all this rain?‖ He looked over to his wife and his young son, who was now looking
up with a frightened look on his face. The father gave a suspicious look, clearly sensing
that something bad had happened.
―What is this?‖ he demanded, pointing to his son‘s hand. ―How did this happen?‖
―I was fixing your plow,‖ Petit Paul stammered, ―And I cut myself.‖
―My plow? What was wrong with it? It was working last week.‖
―I was trying to improve it,‖ said Paul.
―You what?!‖ yelled his father. He grabbed his son angrily by the back of the neck,
forcing him outside the cottage into the rain. ―Where is it?!‖