Snippet Saturday: Bravery

1:00 AM

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The priest listened intently, not saying a word until the whole tale had been finished. “You are very brave.”
“I didn’t want to come,” Alditha protested as he handed her a wooden cup of warm goat’s milk. “I was scared, but I couldn’t let William die.”
“Do you think bravery means to be without fear? You are greatly mistaken. You are brave not because of your lack of fear, but because you did not let that fear stop you. That is what true bravery is.”
“But knights and lords do great deeds and show honor in battles without fear, and they are called brave.” She thought of how her father and many men of the village had gone with Lord Sittell and fought a neighboring lord about a year before. There had been all sorts of tales of bravery and fearless acts.
The priest let out a long breath and gazed into the fire. “War is often a result of fear of the worst kind. Fear that you will lose land, wealth, or security — those are the reasons men go to war. It is not out of bravery, but out of fear.”
She continued to stare into the flames, concentrating on the priest’s words. “You’re saying that sometimes when men act their bravest, they are scared?”
The priest dipped his head.

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