Once there were a man and a woman who worked hard on their field to keep up their own living. Every day the man would go out to the fields, first feeding the animals, after that going to the fields where grain and vegetables grew. The man was named Johann, his wife called Mirtle.
As he was gone, the woman clad herself to attend to housekeeping. First she would see for a proper breakfast for her husband. Not much later the smell of fresh baked bread would evaporate from the house spreading over the field. By that time the man was ready with his work on the fields and returned back home. They both had breakfast together, after which the man looked for problems in the house structure and see what else was needed in and around the house.
The animals might need a fix on their pen, or the roof leaked somewhere overhead. After that he set out to go fetch whatever was needed. He would chop some wood, or gather some straw for the roof.
Almost everyday it was like this and they had the best of time.
Their house was among others forming a small village. A village of a few houses, dotted with trees and fields surrounded the village. Around the fields trees of the forest started. Though on the north side the forest made way for green hills.
Somehow after a good year winter finally came in with a revenge. Every member of the village ahd to cooperate to bring the goods from the field in. They would most probable live for a good two years of all the vegetables, fruits and grain that they had gained. And the heat of the summer laid over the land for a few weeks logner than normal. Than the snow and frost came in.
Hard times for the animals and people. Everybody had to cut trees each day for fire. The forest drew back a few meters after the first flocks of snow had fallen.
Every morning the water bins for the animals had to broken clear to give water. And even now and than in the afternoon again.
As the house of Johann and Mirtle was not big, just a rectangle with a fireplace in the middle and on each side on the shorter side of the house a second floor was made. Here they slept and kept their things. Down they ahd the properties for cooking and plates for their meals. At the other side, under a similar floor a wooden beam separated the fire place to a place where some animals could shelter. Though not big, the few goats and maybe a cow was possible. Above the animal cage on the risen floor the food was laid. Mostly stored away in cages or sacks. And the meat hang out to dry.
It was a small house, it was open for improvements, but it held and Johann and Mirtle would not want to stay anywhere else.
Among the winter Mirtles belly grew and as she grew more and more tired at the end of the winter, Johann had to do more and more. But they were both very pleased with the fact that they would about to have a child.
Though the winter was heavy, and everyone within the village had a hard time fighting to keep alive. The longest night was a sad night, for they lost one of their neighbours. After one of his animals had escaped the house, it was found again standing on a frozen lake. As he wanted to retrieve the animal, the man stepped at a weak spot in the ice. Together with the animal he dived under, and had trouble getting back on the shore. Meanwhile the animal drowned, the man found his way home cold and wet and due to the temperatures of outside frozen on several places. Not much later he gained a big fever, which killed him in the end.
But eventually spring came and with the coming of spring, the time for the child to be born was soon to come.
The new sun, the first newborn animals and the first sowing of plants it all bring the promise of new life. And not much later after that, Mirtle gave birth to a healthy baby.