“I love you as fresh meat loves salt,” says the daughter in the English folktale “Cap o’ Rushes,” and her father banishes her from his house, domesticity cracked like an eggshell. She goes to the river to weep amidst weeds and thickets, and weaves the rushes she finds there into a long hooded cloak. So disguised, she scrubs dishes in a palace and, as fairy tale scullery maids often do, wins the prince’s heart with her humility and the grace of her pale hands moving through clouds of suds. She agrees to marry him but insists their wedding feast be cooked without salt. Her father, invited as a guest and unaware of the bride’s identity, tastes the bland meat and learns food without salt has no savor. Horrified by how much he misjudged his lost child, he weeps, and, at the sight of his tears, she unveils herself. All is forgiven; father and daughter fall into each other’s arms.
The father’s tears salt his food; the daughter’s tears are dispersed into the marsh beside the river, the wild cranberries like a red constellation around her.
A gorgeous, gorgeous essay by Kate Angus.
Nooo, I know this from the story Moss Gown, one of my favorite books when I was a kid.
so like, my sister has a baby daughter thats a couple months old, and even days within it being born, if it was crying she would say things like “see, I knew girls were fussier. milo [her older son] wasn’t this fussy.” which a. don’t even try and say your male child never cried or had fits and b. I love my sister but I think it’s one of the saddest things ever that a kid has its [mostly negative] behaviors attributed to its gender already within days of being born.