Jack’s Beard

18 March Feastday of St. Edward the Martyr, the 12th year in the Reign of King Richard II
6a00d8341c464853ef019b01addae1970b-500wiIt has come to my attention that my apprentice, now a lad of sixteen, has taken it upon himself to grow whiskers. I do recall the exercise myself when at that age. Jack seems more successful at it than I ever was. And by the time a beard would be sufficient I had grown more enamored of a clean-shaven face.

However, Jack sees it as his burgeoning manhood. I watch him as he examines himself in the brass we use at our toilet. Often I catch him stroking the ginger hairs that have gathered like moss on his chin and up the rim of his jaw. And today was no different.

He sat at the window, gazing at the passers-by, stroking that chin. I could not help myself. “Spring has come at last,” I said, keeping my eyes at my task of polishing my sword.

Jack turned to me with a frown. For surely snow was still along the verges and ice in our water bucket. “It does not seem so, sir. I’ve not even heard a bird out there today. It’s gray and miserable.”

“And yet, I myself have seen growth spurt up into the sunshine.”

He looked out the window again toward the barren ground and trodden mud. “I don’t see it, Master Crispin.”

“It’s on your chin, lad. And if you keep touching it as you do you shall wear it all away.”

His pale, freckled cheeks burnished a deep red. “It’s just that…” He turned to me with a wide grin. “I can’t believe it’s come to stay. I’ll be mowing it before long, like any spring grass.”

I laughed. I can’t recall how many times that had happened since my banishment, but I owe it to Jack and his merry nature. Perhaps spring had come.