Elfleda likes to spend time with Gunnilda

After Alwy and Gunnilda’s little daughter Wynna was born, Elfleda spent more time with her friend Gunnilda than ever. Gunnilda was happy to get some help with the baby, because Sigebert was walking by then and it was more than she could handle to keep him out of the oven, the pigpen, and the chamberpot and still do her chores and tend to Wynna.

Whenever Egelric came home to find his wife gone, he knew she would be over at Gunnilda’s playing with the baby.

Elfleda plays with Wynna

It broke his heart to see Elfleda trying to ease her pain by playing with another woman’s baby, but he could understand how she felt. Sometimes when he had a message to deliver to the Earl, he would stop by Ethelmund Ashdown’s farm on the way home to say hello and cuddle little Colburga, or their newborn daughter Kynnie.

Egelric visits with Kynnie Ashdown

What Egelric didn’t know was that Elfleda liked to visit the Ashdowns too, these days, especially when Ethelmund was in the fields and Githa was busy with laundry or other chores.

Elfleda visits Kynnie too

Often that summer, when Alwy came home in the evening he would find Elfleda outside waiting for him as he came over the hill. “Here we are!” she would call, and wave little Wynnie’s hand.

Elfleda and Wynna wait for Alwy

“It’s too bad that Gunnie is too busy to come and welcome you home, isn’t it, Alwy?” she said one evening. “It’s too bad she doesn’t have time for you and the babies. But I have time, don’t I, Alwy? Isn’t that nice?”

“Well, sure.”

“I don’t think Gunnie should have any more babies, do you? When she doesn’t have time for the babies she already has?”

“Well, I don’t know…”

“How is it that Gunnie has so many babies, Alwy?” she asked slyly.

“Well, I don’t know…”

She laughed. “Come on, Alwy, don’t you know how babies are made?”

Alwy blushed. “Well, sure I know. I’m not as stupid as people say.”

Don\'t you know how babies are made?

“I know you aren’t, Alwy. I’m the only one who knows just how smart you are, aren’t I?”

“Well, I don’t know…”

She laughed again and put the baby in his arms. “Goodnight, Alwy. You’re a smart man, Alwy. You just think about what I said.”

Alwy was relieved she was gone. That woman was just too smart for him. He liked someone like Gunnilda better, who took the time to explain things real slow. Alwy wanted to tell Gunnilda what Elfleda had said so that she could explain it to him, but somehow he felt a little strange about it. Of course he knew how babies were made, but Gunnilda told him he must never talk about that, except when it was about piglets. He had one sow that sure had a lot of piglets. Maybe he would ask Gunnie about that sow instead.