Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of Children and Peasants – Part VI

Excerpt from “Anna Karenina Comes to America” by Leia Tolstaya*, Millerskaya Ltd., New York, 2009. For earlier installments please click on the keyword phrase “Of Children and Peasants”.

“I’m sure you’ve heard about the tragedy of Anna Karenina,” began great-great-great-Grandpapa Levin.

“Yes, Grandpapa, I have heard about it in great detail. I know it weighed heavily on the whole family.”

“I have never stopped thinking about it, Levina. You know she wasn’t Kitty’s favorite person, but when she heard about it she cried for days.”

“I can only imagine.”

“And while I can’t say she was a good woman, I did feel an affinity for her during our brief introduction. And I couldn’t help feeling that she was a woman born in the wrong time.”

“I think I see where you’re going with this.”

“Now I know I’ve said a lot about faith guiding us in the right direction, in God’s way, so that we can be happy, but what if there are so many obstacles to your faith that you can’t even get that tiny mustard seed to take hold?”

There he was taking the farmer’s view of things again. Levina merely nodded and listened.

“Anna was coerced into marriage at an early age, by parents who valued their status over Godly values. Her married brother also never got the right start in life, and wound up straying from his good wife instead of appreciating her and the children as he should have. And her bachelor brother never had the courage to choose the good wife he could have had. All of them unhappy but her most especially; why?”

“Because she was a woman?”

“That’s right. She was trapped in all ways a woman can be. If her mind could be trained at one of your universities, she could have the discipline of thought to really do something with herself.”

“And what of all you’ve said about taking a person out of his or her own proper time?”

“It’s all too late for anything to come of her in her own time. We could give her a second chance. If we could just get her before she left for that train station, convince her to come with us…”

“Us? Why do you need me?”

“You understand, of course, it would be improper for me to spend any kind of time with this woman, for one thing. For another, why would she trust me – men have taken all she has. If you, a modern woman, could speak with her, she would understand what she must do.”

To be continued…

*Leia Tolstaya is a pen name for Elizabeth K. Miller, and as such her works fall under the same copyright.

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