“Dear Mara, bless the crib,” he was mumbling as he put it together.

“Dear Mara, bless the blanket,” he mumbled as he swaddled the newborn.

“Dear Mara, bless the shoes,” he mumbled as the baby learned to walk.

“Mara knows,” she assured him, her hand on his.

He nodded. “I just worry. There’s so many things that could happen.”

“The baby was a gift from Mara,” she told him. “She would not have her gift be taken away lightly.”

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