Aisling didn’t really enjoy when her month with the time with the healers came. They didn’t let her near anyone who was really sick except to take the nasty things away to latrines or the things like bandages to be burned. She got to have all the bad smells but not to help anyone get well.
She knew that when she was older and stronger that would change but now she spent the month running around with things that smelled really bad and looked really nasty. Yuck!
She wished she could be like the Chief Healer. The Chief Healer always seemed calm. She glided into a room and people who had been upset just calmed right down. You always felt better when she touched you. Aisling had no idea how she did that just that she did. She was always peaceful which Aisling supposed was useful when other people were running around yelling when someone was hurt. Ailsing knew she didn’t have that quality. She had just the opposite. Aisling walked into a room and some people got upset.
The Chief Bard was still giving her the evil eye after the Raven incident and that wasn’t even her fault! It didn’t help that the Raven had taken to following her around some days. Aisling also knew that the Raven knew that Aisling had nothing shiny enough to bother with but the Chief Bard did. He walked around glittering in gold sometimes and it was all she could do to convince Raven to leave the Bard alone. It was really hard when he walked around in ceremony shaking the silver bough with those shiny tinkling bells. And it also didn’t help that he had really pretty white hair. She knew that sometimes it was almost irresistible to the Raven when she was looking for nesting material. When he had just washed it, it floated in the air like dandelion fluff. She could see the Raven eyeing it with speculation.
Today, as usual she was running around with smelly things. First to the fire where they incinerated the bandages and dirty cloths, gross! And then to the latrines to dump basins, more gross! And now she was stirring something that the Herbalist had made for someone and it smelled really, really bad, really really gross! She just knew the smell was going to stick to her and make her hair stink and she’d have to go dunk herself in the stream or be dragged to the bath house when everyone else was done. Cold water! Brrr!
An older woman had been brought to the Healers from a nearby village and was very ill. Aisling worried about her. She had a very kind face and she got a lot of visitors during the day but at night she sat propped up and looking like she wanted to be doing something, anything. It was late afternoon now and all her visitors had gone home awhile ago. She was her village’s Druid and if she was anything like the Chief Druid the inactivity was driving her nuts.
The Healers area was divided up in several small cottages and one big long one. Special guests and those that had to be kept separate got the small cottages and the sick Druidess was alone in one of the cottages just big enough for one. Aisling could see the Raven sitting over the door and she hoped it wasn’t about to do something naughty.
The Raven hopped closer to the door and twisted to see if Aisling was watching and scooted through the door and grabbed what she had been eyeing from the table by the bed and flew straight at the door.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” Aisling shouted and dove for the bird to block Raven’s way. Aisling grabbed the silver circlet from the bird. “No! You can’t do that to guests.”
The Druidess in the bed was shaking with laughter. “That’s the best thing I’ve seen all day!” She was laughing so hard she was crying. This really alarmed Aisling. Darn bird! She was in trouble now!
The Druidess motioned for Aisling to sit by her bed. “So are you the one they say is always in trouble?” the Druidess asked.
“Yes, but I don’t mean to be. I like helping but today it was that bird who was bad!” Aisling gave the Raven a hard look. The Raven just cocked its head and stared at the circlet that was again on the table next to the Druidess.
Ailsing turned to the bird, “Don’t even think about it!” she scolded. “You get me in enough trouble.”
“Well, that is the best laugh I’ve had since I’ve been here so I thank you Mistress Raven and you too, Aisling!”
“You know my name?”
“It’s kind of hard to miss it the way they’ve been ordering you around today.” The Druidess smiled at Aisling. She had red hair that was faded but very silky looking. Aisling wondered if her hair would look like that someday.
The Druidess pulled out a hazelnut chip biscuit and offered it to the Raven. The Raven grabbed it and flew into the corner and turned her back. She wasn’t going to share it with any one if she could help it. This made both Aisling and the Druidess laugh.
“This is the first time all day I’ve felt like I was getting well, you’re could be a good healer someday, Aisling.”
“I could???” Aisling goggled at her.
“You could.” The Druidess said firmly. “Healing isn’t just smelly potions and bandages and bedpans. Healing is in the heart and you have a good one.” The Druidess pointed firmly at Aisling’s chest. “Don’t let anyone tell you any different. There is more healing in a good laugh with a friend then in the Chief Healer’s whole stock of herbs.”
“You really think so?”
“I do and if you want to be a healer, you will be a good one but wait awhile and find out everything you are good at before you decide. There’s time.”
“Oh..” Aisling said thoughtfully, trying to see herself as the Chief Healer.
“Now, help me to the window. I want to see the sunset and the moon rise.”
Aisling helped the Druidess to the window and they sat comfortably enjoying the colours change.