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Songwhisper Chapter 1: Her Beginnings by Myst Ryder
There was a slight chill in the early spring air, for the sun was hours before rising. A light mist hung over the sky, which was already tinged light blue in preparation for the sunrise. A breeze brushed through the woods surrounding the quiet village, winding its way through the streets and narrow alleyways to come to the pride of the small town: the estate of the wealthiest farmer in miles.
The huge farmhouse was in shadows; its inhabitants more or less asleep. In their barns, sleepy cows were beginning to awaken, filling the air with the sweet scent of their breath. The hens were still fast asleep, but they would soon awake as well. The sheep were already awake, waiting impatiently to be led out to the pastures to graze. A pair of song birds fluttered out of the trees to alight on the fencepost surrounding the grand estate and began to twitter out their song.
It had begun as any normal day, with Mikaela getting up before the sun to do her chores. There were cows to be milked, but that was normally the job of her older sisters. There were also eggs to collect from the chickens, but her mother usually saw to that. Her brothers had left much earlier to see to the flocks and herds that her family owned. Her father was still in the house sleeping, taking advantage of the few hours he had before he too needed to go to work, bringing the animals they had prepared to sell at the market. So Mikaela wrapped her shawl tightly around herself and went to fetch the bucket of water her mother needed to cook breakfast.
Mikaela tiptoed past her parent's room, stepping neatly over the sleeping dog, and into the living room. Her grandmother was already bustling about the fireplace, which was lit early that morning, preparing the first meal of the day. Mikaela acknowledged her grandmother with a slight nod, and the elderly woman waved her grandchild away. They both had work to do.
Cinders greeted her as she opened the door, rubbing against her legs, begging to be let outside. Mikaela shooed the cat out in front of her and closed the door softly as to give her father a few more moments of rest. Cinders bristled at the unexpected cold and bounded away from her toward the barn, where he knew he would find a warm pile of hay among the drowsy cows. Mikaela picked up the wooden bucket beside the door and, while humming a happy tune, made her way to the gate that separated her family's property from the other farmers.
Though Mikaela's family was by far the richest in their little village, they, like the others, had to get their source of water from the well located in the center of the village. The task was troublesome, and the well was so far away from her house. She did enjoy walking through the village, though, where she was sure to pick up all sorts of juicy gossip and the latest news from old wives. Today she hurried through the already awakening streets to talk to her friend Seth.
"Chilly today, isn't it?" a young wife called out to her. Mikaela nodded as she passed by, dodging a man setting up his stall that was well known for its sweet candy.