Andraste shall never be a bard By: Felicity Kendris in Dark Ages Julian fumed His face a scowl. His fists were clenched, his voice a howl. He glared at his gentle wife Marie And kicking their table, so shrill, said he, "Her voice is off key, too deep too hard, Andraste shall never be a bard." Marie did frown and fold her arms, "Surely you can teach her some of your charms!" Julian's face turned crimson red And wafts of smoke spilled from his head. "I'm through, fed up, my devoted bride, I've worked, I've taught, I've really tried! But our youngest child is a stubborn one And after all this time, I'm truly done!" "She can't hum a bar, can't carry a tune, And every poem she barks she sorely ruins. She can't rhyme a word, nor draw a straight line! I've wasted too much of my precious time!" Marie rose from her chair with a shout of her own, "Till you make her a bard you don't need to come home!" Julian spun on his heel and stormed out the door, On his way out he toppled his chair to the floor. Across the small yard and through the gate, He rushed to Viveka's tavern that was open late. He downed an ale, his knuckles white, And remained there until the dawn's first light. The next morn came so bright with day, He knew Andraste would be out at play. He rushed from the bar, to the path near his home Where he knew Andraste was wont to roam. He saw her there, sitting in the sand, Her best frock on, a branch in hand. "What are you doing my youngest one? Are you glad of heart? Having fun?" Andraste smiled her brightest smile And gave him a look dripping with guile. "Father I know you're hear to teach me song, So I won't tarry you very long." "You're wasting your time, my talents won't hone, So I've made a decision of my own. I cannot sing, but I can talk at least. Daddy I'm going to be a priest!" Julian's jaw dropped down to the grass. How did he raise such a willful young lass? "But you can't!" Julian pleaded, tears in his eyes, His voice, a choke, started to rise, "For ten generations those with the Dubois name, Have carried on the tradition of fame! A bard, every one, in that manner or this And you will be too!" he said with a hiss. Andraste laughed and shook her head. "Father, dear, I'd rather be dead." And off she skipped to continue her play, Blessing, and praying in a most Priestly way. Julian drug himself in to his wife, To share his pain and this newfound strife. Marie listened and nodded and heard his plea, And he just knew that now she would let him be. And so rising to his feet, as he walked for the yard, He said, "Andraste shall never be a bard." "That's what she thinks!" Marie said with a grin, "But as soon as you talk to her she will give in." Julian stared in shock at his wife, She had never shown such tenacity in all of her life! Did she not hear all he had said? Andraste had it firmly set in her head! But out he went to find the girl, Perhaps he could give it just one more whirl. He caught a glimpse of her sable hair Rounding a corner in Suomi Square. He followed closely behind, not saying a word, Stepping softly, so he wouldn't be heard. He meant to spy on all she would do, Without the supervision she was accustomed to. He saw her enter the church and quickly he traced, All of her steps into the holy place. She ran to the front as he slipped in the back, Of roguish skills he had no lack. So she never was the slightest aware, That she wasn't the only Aisling there A statue stood in the front of the room, And torches and candles banished the gloom. Andraste reverently knelt, and he heard her say, "Deoch please bless me on this fine, glorious day." Then to his amazement and his eventual surprise, Andraste hummed a few bars and started to rise. She moved to center of the temple floor, Her eyes on the statue, her back to the door, And then Julian heard the most glorious thing! His baby, Andraste, started to sing! Her voice began as a whisper and rose to a throng As she swayed to the rhythm and tune of her song. Her lyrics were inspired! Julian thought And something much finer than ever he taught. Andraste's eyes were closed, her lips a smile, And her rejoicing went on for quite a while. Julian sat dumfounded; a tear ran from his eye, He held out his hands and looked up towards the sky. "Praise Deoch", he whispered, his pride you could see, "If any deserves her, it's not me, but thee." Andraste turned round and ran to her dad "I'm sorry daddy, please don't be mad." She wrapped her arms about him and held him tight, Hugging and squeezing with all of her might. "Andraste, my beautiful talented child, Your song enchanted, uplifted, ran wild. I could never ask you to turn from your Lord, It is obvious to me, that you are adored. He blessed you with a gift I shall never see. But truly, it was better given to you than to me." "I would have made quite the profit with a voice like that Sang my songs and passed my hat. You choose instead to glorify He That blessed you with such creativity. The battle is over, and you have won. I agree with everything you have done." But the war was just begun, Julian may have been vanquished, but that still left one. The two walked slowly back to see, And figure out what to say to Marie. They found her quietly sitting down, In her morning dressing gown. Andraste spoke first, her father stood fast, Knowing he would be the one speaking last. "Mama, there was never a reason to fight, I know what daddy has said and he was totally right, Although our lineage will ever be scarred, Mama, I will never be a bard." Marie's face went grim, her eyes a slit, "I will never hear of it!" Julian spoke of all he had just seen, >From the moment he left through now, in between. And after hearing all he had to say, She gave up demanding her own way. She too had thought once of the Godly life, Before settling down to be a Bard's wife. "If Deoch wants her at his side, I suppose we should and will abide." Marie threw up her hands, her heart no longer hard, "No, Andraste shall never be a Bard."