“Leah became stronger than people expected. Not just stronger in feeling but in physical too. She would join men if there’s fight between villages. She also joined the hunting with men. She was very brave. She would help people to build new home, new barn for pigs and chickens. She was also smart that she gave suggestions on how to avoid wolves attacked their village. People liked her, but she kept apart from them.
Everything’s changed when they heard that their village would be attacked by their enemy. Everybody was preparing to fight back. They discussed the strategies, they asked women and children to go to the hiding place that they’ve built (it was also Leah’s idea, the hiding place). They prepared everything. They waited the attack. “
“They won, right?” Galvin asked.
“You are so impatient. Let me tell you the rest of the story, little man. The enemy finally came. There were a thousand armies with them, they came with full power. They fought and fought. A lot of people injured and died on that fight. Leah never stopped fighting, although she was very tired. Unfortunately for her she was caught by the enemy. She was being held captive and brought to the enemy’s land.”
“Oh nooo!” Cato shouted.
“Shush!!” Galvin elbowed Cato to shut him up.
“Oops, sorry,” Cato was embarrassed.
“Then what happened, Yago?”
“She was kept in underground prison. She refused to talk to anyone; even she refused to eat anything given to her at first time. But she thought, she needed energy if she wanted to escape. So she ate, drank, but still she refused to talk. Nobody knew that Leah was a girl at that time, because she dressed like man, and her hair was not as long as a girl supposed to have at that time. Until she was called and faced with the commander.
‘What’s your name?’ the young commander asked her. She kept silent, only a vicious look she gave as an answer.
‘Well then, if you don’t want to answer. Andre, bring my whip here!’
Leah stared at the Commander with wide eyes, she couldn’t believe at what she heard. Andre brought the whip and handed it over to the Commander. Leah was forced to kneel. Just before Leah was flogged, an old woman came and prevented the flogging. She then whispered something to the Commander. The commander looked at Leah with suspicious look. Then, he ordered Leah to be brought to one room, followed by the old woman.
‘Young woman, it’s better for you to confess. I already knew that you are a girl. I’ve heard about you. And now the Commander has already known too that you are a girl,’ the old woman said.
Leah kept silent.
‘Well, if you don’t talk, the Commander might make you talk himself. And surely you don’t want him to do that.’
‘I am not afraid of him!’ Leah shouted.
‘Ah, there is your voice. If you’re not afraid, then you don’t have to be silent.’
‘It is my choice to talk or not.’
‘You’re a prisoner, you don’t have choice or right to talk or not talk. The commander will come and see you now,’ by then the old woman left and shortly after that, the Commander came into the room.
‘What’s your name?’ asked the Commander after observing Leah for a while, as he did not believe Leah was a girl.
Leah did not answer.
‘Answer my question or I will make you answer!’ ordered the Commander.
‘Why did you join the fight? You should not be there.’
‘It’s none of your business! I have my own right to decide whether I should involved in a war or not.’
‘You’re almost killed!’
‘Then I would die as a hero.’
‘You are insane, woman!’
‘Let me get out of here!’
‘There’s no way, I will release you! You will be kept here, unless I tell otherwise,’ and then the Commander went away, left Leah alone in that room.”
“Then, what happened Yago?” asked Cato.
“Can I eat my food first? I am hungry now,” Yago took a piece of meat.
“Of course you can. Now you said that, I feel hungry too,” Cato agreed and he reached for his bread.
“Hey, Galvin! You ate mine!”
“Sorry, I was hungry,” Galvin shrugged.
-to be continued-