(For the first part of this story, “The Dirty Pot,” click here.)
Stana stayed in bed as her belly grew through Lent and Easter and Pentecost and the hot summer months.
Nada told no one and made her father swear secrecy, but he was going out drinking more often, so he must have let the shameful secret slip. At first Nada thought she was imagining it, but she eventually had to accept that most villagers wouldn’t greet her on the road or in the market. Even neighbors hurried away. They would not answer her queries about their children and grandparents. They would not purchase her embroidered goods, sheep’s milk, or brown eggs. She had become invisible, like a ghost among the living.