The Polite One
A number of homes were visited, but not all. It wasn’t possible. The conversations went something like this:
Hello. I am sorry to disturb you. I am here to inquire as to the number of children residing here. Three? Thank you.
May I ask what are their names? Thank you.
Magda is female? Have I pronounced it correctly? And Yanek? And… Ahna. Thank you.
Forgive my pronunciation. May I ask their ages? Me? Oh, I am sorry. I’m with the military. Yes, under Elam, Governor of Etruria. He was appointed this territory. Well, by Vitrus, of course. You’ve heard tell of Vitrus? Yes, we all have, haven’t we? In the house beyond the next, about a half-mile from here. Where the older couple live. No no, better to ask and know than not ask and wonder, we say. Do you say it too? How interesting. A small world, this. We may speak differently, but we think similarly, perhaps.
Forgive me. I do thank you for answering these questions. Just one more and I will leave you in peace, for now. What is the height of Yanek, how tall is he? He is? Would it be too much trouble to have him on the doorstep in the morning? We are in need of boys of his stature. Well I can’t say. I don’t know why, it’s thought he could be of service. Good. In the morning, yes. Thank you.
Also… Magda. Is she registered? It would be helpful to have her registered, in these troubled times. So many of the men needed elsewhere for the war, or for labor. For the labor of the war, yes, ha ha. You understand, thank you.
Could we arrange to have her register tomorrow? We will be here for Yanek, and… No, she would need to travel there, but we could take her. Would you mind? I’m so sorry. Thank you. Thank you so much. Our men will call on you tomorrow. Thank you. What was your name? Migal. Have I pronounced it correctly? Thank you.
Good day to you, Migal.