A Cautionary Tale
A young woman of small means came here to live in the woods by herself. The first Fall, she chopped wood for her fire and gathered flowers for her table. She set small traps for hare and fished in the stream with bits of soft bread tied with white string. They say she could be seen at the edge of the great field gathering blackberries into her straw bonnet. In Winter, she tied snowshoes to her feet, and made her way across the drifts with her skirt tucked up. The Spring came, and she planted seeds on the south side of her hut. Before they were little more than seedlings, an illness came to her and stayed. No one visited her on her sickbed. No one missed her. This was because she had befriended no one at all.
By the end of the Spring, when the day lilies bloom by the side of the road, she knew she would not get better. With her last remaining strength, she dressed herself in silk and lace. With her long, brown hair brushed and shining, and she in her best dress, she made her way slowly toward the town. The sun shone down and she was warmed. She felt drowsy and lay down a while to rest.
They found her dead in the middle of the King's Highway, just as the sun went down. She lay, hands tucked together under one cheek, with a faint smile on her pale, wan face. They say that her soul wanders still, because she did not die in bed.