Selma grew into a beautiful young woman. She traveled to far away cities to perform for large audiences. She traveled with a young married couple from her city who were renowned dance performers. Her parents were eternally grateful for this couple; because of other responsibilities they were not able to always travel with Selma. The couple gave her company and protection.
When she was about 16 years old, she and the dance couple performed for the first time at a theater several miles from her home. After the performance, a man and woman came up to Selma and congratulated her on her beautiful voice. The woman looked very familiar to Selma. In fact, she appeared as an older version of Selma. Selma and the woman immediately recognized the similarities. The man that was with the woman was shocked at how much they looked alike. The woman asked Selma where she was from, how old she was, and about her parents. Selma told her. The woman started to cry, sobbing. Selma inquired as to what was wrong. The woman informed Selma that she was her mother, that she gave birth to Selma. Now, Selma was in shock and in tears. The woman introduced herself as Elva and her husband as Jacob.
Selma was ecstatic! She desired to learn as much as she could from her birth mother. Elva invited Selma and her traveling companions to her home the next day. Selma could hardly sleep that night in anticipation of learning about the woman who gave birth to her.
After the sun rose, Selma and her companions quickly walked to Elva’s home. Elva and Jacob greeted them with hugs then a morning meal. While eating, Elva disclosed her story. She told Selma how she had been forced by one of the king’s guards. The guard threatened her and her family if she told anyone. Elva was young, only 15 years old at the time and felt so fearful that she did not know what to do or who to turn to. After realizing she was with child, she thought her only choice would be to leave the city so no one, including her parents, would know she was with child and then want to know how it happened. Her parents searched and searched for her, but could never find her. Elva, from a distance, saw her parents as they looked for her, but remained concealed.
After about four or five moons, the guard who forced Elva went to her parents’ home trying to locate her. Elva’s parents had no idea where Elva went. Unfortunately, the guard did not believe them. He mercilessly beat Elva’s father, but there was nothing they could tell him, except that she was gone. He threatened them that if Elva was not at their home in one week’s time, he would destroy them. He also warned them that if they told anyone that he was there, he would defile Elva’s mother then kill her. Elva’s parents quickly and quietly left the city that day without telling anyone, not even their closest friends.
From afar, Elva watched her parents, looking downtrodden, as they hurriedly left the city. Elva bawled. She knew she was to blame. She desperately wanted to go to her parents, but knew that would put all of their lives in danger.
Elva recounted to Selma how she lived in a cave, hunting animals and picking herbs and vegetables to survive. Sometimes, she would cautiously sneak into the city at night looking for leftover scraps of food. A couple times, when she felt extremely hungry, she stole food from people, but she did not take much. She hated doing that, but only took food when she felt desperate.
Elva knew that she would not be able to keep her baby. Even though she grew to deeply love her baby and loved feeling the baby move around inside of her, she believed that she would not be able to protect the baby from the king’s guard. She knew of a family whose mother was still nursing a young boy. She decided that would be the best family for her baby.
When the time was close for the baby to be born, Elva gathered up all that she would need for the birth. She found a warm, soft cloth that she could wrap her baby in and found a basket that was just the right size for a small infant.
Shortly after Elva gave birth, she lovingly wrapped her beautiful baby girl in the cloth she found, gently placed her in the basket, and under the cover of night, she carried the basket to the home. She gave her baby one last kiss and then with tears streaming down her cheeks, she departed the city determined to find her parents.
Everyone was in tears as Elva told her story. Selma went to her, hugged her tightly, and wept. In that moment, they connected as mother and daughter.
Selma desperately desired for Elva and Jacob to come home with her to meet the parents who raised her. Elva expressed hesitancy because of the fear she had for the guard. Selma’s traveling companions learned the name of the guard and told Elva that they would inquire about him then let her know when it would be safe to travel.
There was a knock at Elva’s door. Jacob and Elva knew exactly who was there. Jacob excitedly arose to open the door. Standing at the door were Elva’s parents, Bain and Pamuy. They rushed in, each hugging Elva, then Elva introduced them to Selma and her companions. Pamuy put a hand on each of Selma’s cheeks, looked closely at her, then tears began falling down her cheeks. She told Selma that she looked just like her mother at the same age. They hugged. They wept. Even Bain, a strong muscular man, had tears falling down his cheeks.
They spent hours getting to know each other until the time came when Selma and her companions had to depart. Selma sang a beautiful traditional song for her new family, when Elva joined her in perfect harmony. They sang another traditional song, crying while singing.
Selma and her traveling companions had four more cities that they needed to perform in before heading back to their homes. Selma found a courier, wrote a short letter to her parents telling them her experience of the day, paid the courier, and sent him on his way.
Once Selma returned home, her parents and siblings excitedly greeted her. They were all curious to learn about her birth mother. Selma rehearsed the story about her conception and birth. She recalled the name of the guard who forced himself upon Elva. Joseph remembered one of the guards visiting them after Selma was dropped off. He was very curious and agitated about Selma and demanded to know who dropped her off. Of course, Joseph and Nadie and no idea. They felt threatened by the guard, not knowing why he showed so much interest. Joseph, knowing a couple of the king’s servants, mentioned this guard to them and asked that he leave them alone. The guard never bothered them again. They wondered if that was the guard who forced himself on Elva.
Joseph did some inquiring and discovered that guard had been killed in a skirmish several years earlier, so was no longer a threat. Selma found some writing utensils to write a note to Elva informing her of the news. She found a courier, he put the note in the leather pouched tied to the saddle on his chestnut horse, and took off to deliver the message to Elva.
About two weeks later, Nadie and Selma were at the market shopping for various meats, vegetables, and fruit. Joseph came running to the market looking for Nadie and Selma. Once he finally found them, he excitedly told them that Selma’s birth mother was at their home! Nadie and Selma quickly finished their purchases and ran back to their home as quick as they could. There was a joyous reunion as Selma was once again reunited with her birth mother. Elva was ecstatic to become acquainted with Nadie and Joseph. She thanked them over and over again for raising Selma to become the beautiful young woman that she was.
Elva and Jacob, along with Elva’s parents, decided to move back to the city where Elva came from. Elva wanted to be close to Selma and also occasionally travel with her. The two families became very close, in fact, becoming like one family. Nadie and Joseph took in Elva as if she were a close sister. Jacob was also accepted like a brother. Bain and Pamuy were immediately accepted back into the community. They had family and friends who were very grateful and excited to have them back.
Selma continue to travel to other communities to perform. During one of her trips she met her future husband. After marrying and starting a family, she chose to limit her performances and her travel. She gave voices lessons to many aspiring singers and raised a beautiful family.