It was a long night of waiting,
Winter winds howling through the woods,
Snow drifting up the door,
And to just below the window’s ledge.
They could not get outside,
Except through that window,
And when he had tried, he had fallen,
Sinking deep into the snow.
It was only a short walk downriver
To his mother and father’s house,
But with the storm and snow,
They were alone in their little house.
This was not how men behaved,
He needed his mother,
His wife needed her, or her aunt,
He needed to stay away.
But he could not leave her.
“Oh my God, what’s happened to you?”
His wife screamed, seeing him covered in snow,
“I fell out the window.”
“You’re soaked!” Well, so was she.
“Snow’s too deep to walk in,”
Tears welled up in his eyes,
“I can’t get help for you.”
“Then we’ll just have to wait.”
His wife was strangely calm,
It masked her terror well,
“Get yourself out of those clothes!
Warm yourself by the fire!”
“What good will that do you?”
“I won’t be having you freeze.”
Meanwhile, she paced the floor,
Grabbing the bedpost when she needed.
He must have dozed off by the fireplace,
For he woke up to cold and darkness,
Only burning embers remaining,
He searched for her.
“Where are you?”
She gave him a muffled answer,
And he hurried to her side,
She weakly fell into his arms,
“You’re going to have to help me.”
He was glad it was too dark,
Alarm and dread covered his face,
His wife wasn’t a cow or a horse,
And it was his child she was bearing.
He was sure that he had said nothing,
But she added “Pretend I’m a mare,
If that helps – does it?”
“Not really, but I’ll do my best.”
“Headfirst, not hooves.”
“By God, I hope our child has no hooves!”
“Feet!” She cried in pain.
“Head, not feet.”
“You are thinking of horses too?”
“Well, I have to think of something.”
The storm still went on, the snow higher,
Sparkling in the window in the moonlight.
Their son was born fighting,
Screaming at the cold air,
But safe in his father’s arms,
And then carefully given to his mother.
It took three days to dig out of the snow.
“Someday, little one, you will help your father,”
His mother kissed his tiny head,
“This will be your home,
And you will be a good strong man like him.”