My name is Goody Rebecca. I hath spent the summer months in penitence for a foolish daisy chain. This harlot wreath did add years unto my purgatory. What to do? You would be surprised to see me today, hair braided and tucked in a neat cap. Yes, I do toil in the field now.
What do I know about plowing? Not much. Daniel Putnam hath given me this task so that I might pay off my eternal debt in the yawning hellmouth of the beyond.
I lean far over my work, prideful in the new stitching in my shirt hem. Plowing is devilish work. Instead I dream of stitching a bit of lace to my cap like Lucy, the whore of Rhode Island.
I lay my head against a rusty plow and began to murmur holy words. Daniel does hear my whispering.
“Goody Rebecca,” he said “did you just ask the Lord ‘What art oxen?’
The adventures of Goody Rebecca continue in Paul Rudnick’s “Confessions of a Pilgrim Shopaholic” from this week’s New Yorker.