Once there was a female slave who was heartily sick of people coming after her for sex and to make babies, neither of which she wanted. She seemed to be living in a state of seige constantly having to take evasive action and constantly wary of others traps. One day she complained of her problem to an old woman who laughed heartily.
“I don’t see what is so funny, just because YOU no longer have the problem”.
The old woman snorted. “That isn’t why I’m laughing. I am laughing because you have the answer to the problem within you, but you are too blind to see it. You have the Power of Prayer, my dear. If you think hard enough you will solve your problem”.
The Slave went away and thought about it. Was this true? And how could it solve her problem if it was?
The next day she met a Freewoman in the market. The Freewoman was in tears as she told her companion she was barren and the Merchant she wanted to marry was refusing because she could not have children.
The Slave spoke to her. “What would you give up in order to have a child?”
“Anything, anything”, the woman replied. “I want a child more than anything in the world”.
The Slave went home and when she was alone thought ‘Here goes. I pray that my fertility is given to that Freewoman in exchange for her freedom”.
The next morning the Slave’s Master set her free.
The Slave went into town to look for paid work but found because there were so many slaves the wages offered were not enough to support her, but better work was offered to men and it was better paid.
In the town she met a man dressed as a woman. Curious she engaged him in conversation. He looked at her body enviously and said, “Think of the lovely babies you could have”. The Slave smiled ruefully. “Do you really want to be a woman?” she asked. “My life is wasted as a man” he answered sorrowfully.
The Slave had no money to pay for accommodation so she went out into the countryside and slept under the stars. She thought about the man she had met in the town. “I pray that I will swap gender with you”. Then she fell into a deep sleep. When she woke her hated female attributes were gone and her body had become male and athletic overnight. Whooping with joy she ran across the fields back onto the road into town and quickly found work as a labourer. Another labourer wanted someone to share the rent on his small accommodation so the ex-she-slave took it, and slept soundly at night knowing s/he was safe from molestation.
She worked happily for months as a labourer, building up savings from her wages and going out drinking with the other men at nights, enjoying their conversation and company. She thought she was content. Then one day in town she met the ex-Freewoman to whom she’d given her fertility in exchange for freedom. The woman was large with child and looked harried and scared. She did not recognise the ex-slave. The ex-slave engaged her in conversation. “When is the happy event?” s/he enquired. “It is not happy for me!” The ex-Freewoman snapped. When my lover found I was pregnant he denounced me as a whore and I was given into slavery. Men come after me all the time for sex and there is nothing I can do to stop them. I thought being a woman was wonderful, but now I know it is only wonderful if you are free and have status”.
The ex-slave burned with shame and turned away. Standing immediately behind her was the man who had wanted to be a woman. He looked lonely. “How are things with you?” The ex-slave asked.
“Do I know you?” S/he replied. But because the ex-slave looked sympathetic s/he carried on. “I thought being a woman would be wonderful. But it is horrible. Before I was free to talk to any man I found interesting. But when I start a conversation, they see I am a woman and turn their back. But other horrible men I want nothing to do with keep coming after me for sex”.
The ex-slave nodded and unable to bear any more went home. Her house-mate asked if she wanted to go out for a drink with the boys, but she said no.
When she had the house to herself she thought over everything that had happened. She was happy with her choices, but it had brought grief to others. She thought long and hard then made her final prayer.
“I pray that I can go to a world where people’s lives are not stolen from them in slavery, and where men do not treat women like animals, but as people like themselves”. In that moment her soul left her body.
Many wondered at her death. She had appeared in perfect health and there was no mark on her body. Her workmate friends buried her but as no-one had known her very long there was little they could say. So her foreman said “He was a good, honest man who worked hard and lived in peace”. The other men nodded and went home.
So was the Slave’s final prayer answered? Did she go to a world where there is no slavery and women are treated as people, not animals?
Maybe. Or perhaps her soul is out there somewhere searching for a world where love and justice rule, searching, searching …..
Copyright 2014 Prayerwarriorpsychicnot