Chapter one: My Pledge
I lay looking out unto the almost light sky; it was almost time to rise soon the whole
village would be about, there was chores to be done 'day light never waits for anyone' as
mama says, being the oldest of the five daughters of Tevye and Golde I am responsible
for taking up a lot of the household chores. I am almost twenty years though mother tells
me I mustn't boast about my age, she also tells me I must find a husband…. I have a
feeling Yente has yet again picked another man. My figures touch a small wildflower old
and dry underneath my pillow, I remember the day it was given to me, it was Motel
Kamzoil who gave it to me, they day we made a pledge. One year ago.
"Tzeitel" Eighteen-year-old Tzeitel heard a voice not far off as she milked, following
the hushed voice she came to a hill top where her and Motel used to play as children,
There nineteen year old Motel stepped out from behind the trees in the hills, "I knew I
could get you to follow me" Tzeitel smiled, "I have been always one to follow a voice
that sounds like Motel Kamzoil" Motel smiled at her compliment, "glad you recognize
me" Tzeitel shook her head, "Motel of course I recognize you, you're my friend, our
mothers used to do chores together" Motel smiled half heartedly, "what's a matter?"
she asked, Motel shook his head, "you'll be a bride soon, I heard Yente has maybe
found a match"
"not yet though, besides I am only eighteen"
"days away from nineteen actually" Motel corrected
"okay days away from nineteen, I still have plenty of time" Motel took her hand in his,
"not as much as you think" letting out a sigh Tzeitel stood, "its not fair" Motel rose to
his feet as well, "what's not fair?" Tzeitel threw her hands in the air, "an arranged
marriage, I love only one man in Anatevka" Motel smiled and took her hands again,
this time kissing both of them, "I love you too" he looked into her eyes, "why don't we
marry?" Motel said, Tzeitel shook her head, "papa must pick a man for me, when it is
time ask him, until then I give you my pledge" Motel held her hand tightly, "I pledge to
you Tzeitel that I will marry you" Tzeitel threw her arms around Motel, "then its
settled, when the time comes we wont have to hide our engagement!" Motel reached
down pushing his thin framed glasses up and handed her a purple flower, "may this
flower be a token of our love and our pledge"
"I shall keep it always"
"Always" I whispered, tucking the flower back under my pillow I waited in the cool
silence that was dawn.
"Chava, Hodel!" I called into the yard, both my sisters came running, "Mother said she
needs both of you inside, probably for two very different reasons" I stepped into the hot
sun off the porch, down the road I saw my nightmare, Yente the match maker, oh what
could she possibly want? Just as Yente approached the gate I ran inside, "Mama Yente's
here" My mother went to the window, "okay everyone out!" she said, "but Mama what
man could she have picked this time, the last one she suggested was bald! And Mama I'm
not yet twenty years old yet-"
"Must you boast about your age? Now get out I must talk to Yente alone"
I felt my self sinking