Wars are the reason which destroy countries, cities, towns, villages, town and of course families.
The condition of the village of Yolkshire was familiar to a battleground. There was mass destruction everywhere. Houses ruined, children crying on the street and dead bodies lying on the ground. The only people left alive in the village were the wives and children of the men who had gone to fight in the war in South.
There was one such exception of a strong woman. That was Mrs. Johnson who was sitting in the ruins of her house with her 16-year old daughter Maggie. “What are we going to do?” Maggie asked between sobs.
“Just wait” her mother firmly said. Just then Mrs. Thomas came in through the door saying that her husband died in the war. Mrs. Johnson comforted the weeping woman and gave her tea and something to eat from the little remaining in the house.
“Go and call Little Jo” she ordered her daughter. And Maggie at once left and came back with the boy after 15 minutes. “What’s the news?” Mrs. Johnson asked and he replied” they are coming by tomorrow morning.
She seemed mumbling about something for a moment and then told Maggie to call all the women in the village. Maggie was about to ask ‘why’ but her mother dismissed her question. So one hour later with Mrs. Thomas back in her home and 50 odd women stood whispering amongst them outside mrs. Johnson’s house.
Mrs. Johnson quieted them down before addressing them “Sisters, we were the only people left in this village. All our men have left for the war in the South. I have news from this boy”
She gestured Little Jo forward who grinned nervously at them.”That enemy will descend on us tomorrow to destroy our village and take whatever they can find” this gave rise to more whispers. Mrs. Johnson spoke in an even louder voice “ If we fight them, we can save our village and our future of our kids”
A woman raised her hand and asked “how are we going to stop them? There will be so many of them” Many seemed to agree with her.
“there seem to be hundred men. Their forces have decreased” Mrs. Johnson stated “if you all agree with me then say yes” she continued.
Some seemed to agree while others were hesitant. Mrs Johnson persuaded them “So are you all with me?” There was a moment of silence before a chorus of ‘yes’ sounded’.
“So arm yourself with whatever you can find and be prepared by the crack of dawn” she instructed them. Then they all dispersed off to prepare for their battle. The morning dawned as bright as ever with each woman taking up as any things she could find for her defense. 52 women stood towering in front of their village with sticks, knives and other things in their hands.
As soon as the sun rose, the sound of hooves could be heard from far away. One by one hundred men c ame and stood before them “Get out of our way” a man, maybe their leader, said in a rough voice “We can’t let you in and destroy our village” a woman’s voice firmly said
“Step away and we won’t hurt you” a man came up in the front. Another woman said ‘go away’.
“We ain’t scared of you ladies” another man said and the others laughed “Okay step over us and go. But remember we are women but we still can fight” Mrs. Johnson’s voice spoke up for the first time, her voice lashing out like a whip.
The men were silenced and one man gruffly said “We don’t hurt women”.
“Okay then, are you afraid of us?” Maggie’s voice sounded in the background. The men yelled ‘No’.
“Then wy don’t you fight us? If you are not afraid of us then come over. Because of you, our husbands, sons and brothers are dragged into the war. They are killed or injured. But that won’t bother you. Yu fight for your own greed. Your rivalry with others affects us. If you would think of others” Mrs. Johnson continued “Each of you has a mother, a sister and a wife. How would they feel if you are taken away from them? Will they able to bear the pain? Ask them once because we feel the pain. Our men are separated from us. You say you don’t hurt women but taking our men from us hurts more than anything else. But we are strong as ever. See we are standing here before you, ready to fight” Mrs. Johnson’s words echoed everywhere.
The men quietly discussed among themselves for a moment and then the leader spoke up “We are sorry sisters. We promise we will never go out in a war again and never would evade your land again. Saying this the men rode off and the women celebrated their success.
That day in 1829, 52 women stopped a war from spreading in their village again, showing that war was only made of greed and even women were powerful enough to stop one along with creating history.
© Copyright 2016 Trupti Soman. All rights reserved.