“Why are you all so frightened?” she asked.
“You’re new here,” replied a plump matron. “You don’t know.”
“I’ve heard,” she said. “I’ve heard rumors from the other young ones.”
Another female sighed. “I probably have children out there, but I’ve never met them.”
“They take our children from us,” said the doyenne. “Thieves. Kidnappers. Murderers.”
“Is it truly so horrible? We have food; we have warmth; we have shelter.”
Before she could receive an answer, the door slammed open. Framed in the light was the dark form of Farmer McAllister, with his wide hat and his terrible wire basket.
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