Character Vignettes: Il Contadino/The Farmer

Rise before the sun, begin a long day. Toil for the food, much of which goes elsewhere. On occasion, he thinks about how unfair it all is. But mostly, he’s complacent. He does what is known as unskilled labor, monotonous and thankless.

He knows he’s not very smart, so he doesn’t mind keeping busy. At least he can make some kind of living, at least he’s not bored.

Maybe he doesn’t read very much, but there are things he knows, things he’s proud of knowing in his humble, plodding way.

He knows the earth, in an almost Biblical way. He’s been inside it, pulled life from it. He knows cloud patterns and weather and can feel, in his gut, when the appropriate times are for planting and for harvesting.

He doesn’t live in a villa, he doesn’t own his own land. If he had been raised into that, it might suit him. But as it is, he doesn’t have any ambition to elevate his status.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knows he deserves more for his work. But his options are to be killed immediately for speaking out, or die much later, when the labor becomes too much and he’s long set down his hoe.

He’s a simple man. He wants to continue his simple life.


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