"Well said!" the farmer cried. "I,
too, hate those
Who dress themselves up in romantic clothes
scheme to steal a girl's virginity,
Then hand her off in shame to men
Real men are husbands, passionate and true,
Who bear the
burdens of this life, and who
Are faithful to their vows. Such there
As in my tale you will shortly see."
Agesino was a farmer
Produced fine crops no matter what he grew --
organic, grown by hand.
He was a faithful lover of the
Alas! For years he had no other love,
No woman who his eye
and heart might move,
For all the men who helped him were, well, men
This coop was full of roosters, not one hen!
Long he toiled
from sunup to sundown,
So many years, eventually he found
near elderly and still alone,
No wife or children, parents long since
And so he looked around to see if any
Women were nearby.
There weren't many
In the tiny village near his farm,
there were exuded little charm.
He had at last resigned himself to
Single, given the choices he was seeing,
When a young and
lovely woman came
To visit him. Delfina was her name.
She was a
student of organic farming,
Anxious to grow food, though without
The ecosphere, and tasty food at that!
Agesino saw right
off the bat
She was the one for him, but in despair
That such a
pretty girl could ever care
For him, he did not even try to talk
love. Each morning early they would walk
Through his fields as he
showed her how
To shape the land and plant without a plow,
nurture nature, not to intervene,
But merely with deft hand to set the
And then let nature work its wondrous way.
He seemed so
wise and loving, in one day
He had won Delfina's heart, so
Decided to remain indefinitely,
Courting him ? he was so shy ?
Both virgin lovers had at last their will.
months they married. Seven more
Brought a son. As though there were a
To happiness, Agesino walked right through,
Entering an Eden
Where innocence reigned once again supreme,
became for him a waking dream.
Delfina for a few years felt the
And lived a life unblemished, without blame,
Loving in her
husband what she would
See in herself, a person kind and
But presently into the garden came
A seductive snake,
Alejandro was his name,
A romantic lover, whose memory could not
All he had seduced, whose blood ran cold
(Though he could make
it hot enough by art),
And whose tongue played music on the
This Alejandro was a hired hand
To help Agesino clear
some vacant land
That he had bought just lately from a neighbor
little more than a pittance and his labor
To turn a junk-strewn thicket
to a field
That would in time a healthy harvest yield.
treated all his hands
As family, making no demands
On them that he
did not make on himself,
Sharing meals and evenings, that the
Between the men and master, while still there,
Might find a
bridge that such a load would bear.
Thus the snake found easy
The garden, where he soon began to woo
His victim with
First with glances, then with sweet
Practiced words that many times had brought
dark pleasures that he sought.
For life was joyless, aimless,
Unless he could pursue some maidenhead
the virtue of some wife --
This to him was what brought life to
He could not help it, evil though he knew
It was, no more
than some drug addict who
Lived only for the rush upon the
That eased his constant existential pain.
was drawn to him of need,
The young wife of an older man, a
Much prone to an adulterous desire,
Their husbands meager fuel
for such fierce fire.
Soon Alejandro's glances were returned
caged animals with passion burned.
And then a note: "You can't be
With such a husband! I cannot abide
To see you so when I
am half insane
To kiss your breasts, or perish of this
This note he'd used successfully before,
And so he
thought he'd try it one time more,
Slipping it to her while passing
Which Agesino happened to espy.
Yet to his wife he would say
What he had seen, trusting in her love.
Time and patience
were his usual tools,
For he was tolerant, though not a fool,
willing to believe eventually
Good would out, if one would let things
As nature would take care of human need
With just a bit of
stewardship and seed.
Delfina, though, was like dry tinder
By Alejandro's words, her normal wit
Consumed by fantasies of
In Alejandro's arms. She couldn't see
What was right in
front of her, her brain
Full of scenes of love, again,
Still, she did not answer him. He wrote
Again, and then
again, an urgent note
That gave at last to dreams a time and
Where they might share the joy of an embrace.
trembled with delight and fear,
Knowing that the reckoning was
And she must choose her duty or desire.
She could not bear to
live life as a liar,
And yet with hunger she could scarcely stand
For Alejandro's lips, his tongue, his hand,
His manhood thrusting
into her, his burst
Of joy within her! God! He was the first
turned her from her love of that good man,
To share whose life had been
her only plan.
And so she did the only thing she could,
bared her heart to him, as well she should.
"My darling Agesino,"
"You know well that you're the only man
I've ever been
with, nor had I desire
For anyone else. But now a wildfire
right through me, driven by a wind
From some forsaken place within my
And I have lust for someone else, one who
Has nothing for him
but that he is new.
"He's neither good nor kind, nor just nor
In fact, he's just the sort I should despise,
Yet all I do is
feel unwanted lust
And fantasize his love because I must.
sleep or eat or even think.
And now I must confide I'm on the
Of going to him. This I'm telling you,
That you, my love,
might know of me what's true.
I love you more than ever, please
Me! I cannot possibly conceive
Of life without you! That's
I tell you this -- I would not live a
Agesino took some time for thought,
Dismantled by the
truth that she had brought,
For truth it was, of that he had no
And so he needed time to figure out
What might be the wisest
thing to do,
Once his rage and jealousy were through.
Delfina still, and pain apart,
Was grateful she had bared her anguished
For she could easily have cheated him
And secretly enjoyed
her lustful sin.
But now that she had told him: What to do?
ground of life had shifted, now he knew.
"My dear Delfina," he at
"I am so happy that you haven't lied!
Of course the
truth is hard for me to bear,
But in the end, I'd rather be aware
what is in your heart than live my life
With someone who's a stranger
for my wife.
"I know that I am old and cannot be
The man you
need. Please understand you're free
To do what makes you happy. But
Of those romantic men who do not care
For those they might
seduce, since that might mean
They could not vanish quickly from the
But might be forced to play the grownup man
By what they feel
for someone other than
Themselves. Misogynists all, they play at
Loving whom they hate, as time will prove,
Using women for
their passing pleasure
And then abandoning them, while those who
Them must watch with painful indignation
"So do not give yourself unless you're
The one who takes you feels a love as pure
As yours, as mine
for you has ever been.
This you owe yourself." From his chin
drops of tears streaming from his eyes.
Delfina, too, as you may
Wept at these words bitterly, and said:
husband, would that I were dead
Rather than inflict on you such
I ought not play at life. But I would claim
This chance for
ecstasy! This once I must
Seek out the unmarked boundaries of my
"So go," he answered, "go and do your will,
your husband loves you still."
Perhaps there are of you some who
No man would send a wife he loved away
To have sex with
another. Wait and see!
The outcome will persuade you
Delfina went to meet her lover, but
With half a
heart. Her husband's goodness put
Her lust out in the sun, where it
And in the merciless heat begin to die.
Her heart was
full of sorrow for his pain,
And so it was reluctantly she came
meet her lover at the appointed time,
Repenting her still-uncommitted
"Alejandro," she began when they had kissed,
back firmly by the wrist,
"There's something I must tell you before
Begin to take our pleasure. I couldn't be
Myself and live a lie,
and so I told
My husband of our plans." Alejandro rolled
with an incredulous disgust.
"You what?" he said. "You what?" And all
Ran out of him like liquid down a drain.
"I hope you didn't
let him know my name!"
"Of course not!" Delfina said. "I wouldn't
Anything that might cause harm to you."
"What did he say?"
Alejandro asked, relieved.
"He thanked me for the truth, and though he
To hear of my desire, said that he
Would love me still,
though I might faithless be."
"The gutless fool!" Alejandro said.
Now we can have at it without fear.
With his permission,
let us have our way,
And make mad love till sunshine says it's
Then send you home to him, the coward who
Could not, even in
pain, say what is true:
That he is full of jealousy and rage,
would, if honest, keep you in a cage,
Or murder you if you step out of
But all the milksop does is weep and whine!
"I'll show you
what a man is!" And he pulled
Her towards him, by rage, not passion,
An anger that welled up, he knew not why,
charities he would defy,
That turned against the woman in his
And made it spite to decimate her charms.
But she pushed
back, now weeping, and then cried,
"Let me go, please!" as violently he
To rip her shirt and bra off, bent on rape,
Knowing that his
prey could not escape,
And, guilty as she was, would never
But still she fought, as though in a bad dream,
wept, and begged for mercy, till his rage,
Too, turned away, and
limping left the stage,
Done in by what dead love could come to
To save the honor of the helpless wife.
"Thank you," she
said as he let her go.
"I've wronged us all, all three, as I well
But I must ask you, please, to go away.
And since I am the
cause that you can't stay,
I'll give you four months' wages, so that
Might look for work without constraint undue."
"You'll give me
money now to disappear?
I don't need your money! Never fear!
away, all on my own, since I
Need no bribes! But look me in the
And say that you don't want me!" So she did,
And for one moment
there was nothing hid
Between them, both the evil and the
Alejandro shuddered, as he should,
And turned away at last
from what he saw:
Himself in her forgiveness -- truth too raw
him keep the luster of his lust.
And so my tale ends, as end it
Alejandro left; Delfina came
Back to Agesino, all her
Washed clean in his acceptance of her whole,
And love not just
for body but for soul,
The two as loving after as before.
I have to say -- I'll say no