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When Jute smiled at EruunAuthor's Notes
and offered her a fat ptarmigan for supper,
she thanked him and went to pluck it.
When Tikite sat beside her
and told stories to make her laugh as she knitted,
she listened and enjoyed his sense of humor.
When Yate brought her
a hank of beautiful yarn dyed a deep blue-green,
she planned a place for it in her next project.
When Eruun realized that all three brothers
were courting her at the same time, well,
that was not so much fun.
Jute, Tikite, and Yate were
the famous triplets of Itrelir, the only living triplets,
as like as three peas in a feverpod.
How could she ever choose among them?
They were all equally handsome,
all equally attentive.
They hovered around her, always smiling,
sometimes sweetly but other times tensely,
like snow-unicorn stallions around a mare in season.
Eruun fingered the gap in her necklace
and wondered what to do, because the elders
were beginning to frown over her indecision.
She encouraged some of her friends
to flirt with the young men -- not a hard task! --
but all three remained firmly fixed on Eruun.
The three brothers tried to solve the matter
with a friendly competition, but it didn't stay friendly for long,
and the elders pried them apart with a gruff scolding.
The four of them talked it over, then,
but none of the brothers wanted to yield, and
Eruun couldn't choose and they didn't know what to do.
When the triplets got into a scuffle
in a game of bola-ball that resulted in a major foul,
Eruun realized that she had better think of something fast.
So she went to see the three brothers
and invited each of them to give her a bead,
then put the beads into a bag.
The triplets agreed that
they had let things get out of hand
and would abide by chance.
Eruun drew out the beads one at a time
and laughed to find that they came in order:
Jute's aqua fish, Tikite's teal hare, Yate's spruce tree.
She strung Jute's bead in the center of her necklace,
and below it on a promise-loop lay Tikite's bead,
and below that Yate's waited as well.
So there went the months of her summer,
but they were all fine men and amenable to her solution,
and it was better than another embarrassing scuffle.
It was Yate who wound up
pitching the tent in her belly, although
Eruun did not know that until after they parted.
The next summer she introduced her son Romoterth
to his father and two uncles,
the three beads now braided into her hair.
This poem came out of the January 2013 Crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from Deirdre M. Murphy. It may be sponsored for $20 or 20 Torn World credits.