Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

Grandma Pisan

On Pentecost the cart stopped for the first time in front of the Geil house. Grandfather opened the door and Nils Tvibur and another man came in to retrieve Pisan, or Grandma Pisan, as the children called her. Pisan was from Hestoy, and when Farmer Támar’s oldest son got her pregnant, and she gave birth to a daughter, she took her own child’s life.

That’s what Old Tóvó told his great grandson several years later.

Pisan gave birth to her daughter in a peat shed up on the island, he said. And the child was healthy. She smelled so freshly of the womb; Pisan could feel the warm breath from the newly developed lungs against her neck and chin. She said the breath from the small nostrils and tiny mouth was like a storm, the strongest she had ever experienced. She put the baby to her breast, and when the child had nursed its fill, Pisan did what plenty other unmarried mothers did during the slave law 3 years – she killed her own child. With the little nape trustfully resting against her hand, she pressed her thumb to the baby’s throat, and when its

3 Law passed in 1777 that forbid anyone who did not own land from marrying.


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