By Dee Artea

The noble woman, in opulent attire and glittering jewelry, spoke to the peasant woman, who was wearing a long linen shirt over which she tied a plain skirt.

Can you read or write?


So, what good are you then?

What good am I then?

Yes, what good?

Can you cook and clean house?


Can you wash, feed and herd animals?

I would not think of doing such filthy things.

Can you make hay and fire? Sow & harvest? Or separate grain from the chaff?

Never tried; but, no, wouldn’t want to, or really know how to.

How about baking, sewing, spinning, knitting, and washing things?

You know the answer.

I guess the same is true for polishing silver, which of course you could do. 

But I will not do.

Drying peas & herbs; do you know what herbs are good for your health?

Do you?

Yes, I do. How about a mixture of wine with vermouth, thistle, a pinch of hyssop, to purify the blood and stimulate the urine?

How do you know these things?

They’re taught by the other women I know, who also can’t read or write – but can listen and learn. 

Yes, listen and learn. Think about it.

Don’t tell me what to do, you illiterate thing.

Do you like pork?


How about bacon?

Yes too.

And a slice of ham?

Of course.

Ok, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I can slaughter a pig. Unless you want to do it.

How disgusting.

So, what good are you then?

Dee Artea lives in Winnipeg, Canada. For Dee the act of writing ever entails amusement and gratification.

2 thoughts on “The Illiterate Peasant

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