Three decades were now gone since she got married to a wealthy man in a village beyond the rolling hills. For a long time, young men from our village had married from the other side and they also married from ours. The difference is that the men from the village beyond the hills were wealthier than us making women wish that their daughters be married there. I vividly remember Emily; Ivy’s mother openly telling Mona, “If only my daughter Ivy gets married to those wealthy men in the hidden village of Hutz then I shall forever remain a proud mother.” Her wishes came and the marriage of Ivy became the talk of the village. Walking along the narrow paths one would hear women expressing their envy for Ivy’s mother. The most notorious of the village women was Monna. She was popularly known by everyone including the young children as the “village newspaper.” She earned this name from her nosy character of spreading every rumor about everything in the village.
Since Ivy got married, Mona caught the information and spread it around the village for all the wrong reasons. The marriage had failed to honor our culture that required newly married couples not to have children before officially getting the blessings of their elders. The bridegroom too was to pay the full bride price before consummating their love. For the thirty years of their marriage, Ivy’s husband had not settled the bride price but had gotten three children already. I remember that at one time his elder brother; Nick had threatened to bring his sister and the children back home with to compel the husband to offset the bride price. Envy and sheer fun for what had become of Ivy’s marriage had kept Mona too busy these days. It came at unexpected time when the Ivy’s husband finally came to settle the bride price. This time he was paying for each of the children in appreciation of motherhood. Everyone seemed stunned by the happening turned Mona from a prolific rumor monger to village ridicule.
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