Rated PG. No, Really.
Translated by Edward Gauvin
Special thanks to our friend Mr. Wilson Fowlie for guest-hosting this episode!
The Colors of the World
by Paul Willems
Many years ago there was a small fisherman’s house on the dunes of La Panne. Rik-the-Fisherman’s wife Marie sat at the window all day long, spinning thread as she watched the sea. She was tall and thin with a tanned face and blond hair, and her eyes, from watching the sea, took on the color of the waters: blue when it was fair, green when it was cloudy, and black when there was a storm. Now, one day when Marie’s eyes were black, one stormy day, the fishing boat sank and Rik was never seen again. Marie was so sad that her eyes stayed black. As the sea reminded her of her husband, she changed places and sat at the other window, which looked out on the Abbey of the Dunes.
Two months after Rik’s death, a little girl was born in the little house. Marie called her Rika, in memory of her father. Rika grew. She always played alone in the dune and on the beach, for her mother spun from dawn till dusk to provide for them. One evening (Rika had just turned six), Mari began to weep. She wasn’t earning enough money spinning and there wasn’t anything left in the house to ea. She told Rika to go out the next day and keep watch over the sheep for the monks of the Abbey of the Dunes. The monks would surely give her a big jug of milk each day for her trouble.
But Rika replied that she would rather go to the beach. Sometimes the sea tossed up precious objects she would gather and sell.
And so it was decided.
About the Author
Paul Willems, (born April 4, 1912, Edegem, Belgium—died November 29, 1997, Zoersel), Belgian novelist and playwright whose playful strategies and fascination with language, doubles, analogies, and mirror images mask a modern tragic sensibility. He expressed the identity crisis of postwar Belgium in an idiosyncratic and often savagely ironic style.
About the Narrator
Marguerite Croft lives by the ocean just south of San Francisco. She has read stories for Podcastle and Escape Pod, and provided the audio narration for Tim Pratt’s The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl. She makes regular appearances on the Point Mystic podcast where she is also a story developer and script editor.