You have come into a hard world. I know of only one easy place in it, and that is the grave. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Aly smiled down at her new daughter and sighed. She was determined to make this the last child, but when she saw them so small and innocently looking, she couldn't help but want another.

Nawat peered over her shoulder and pulled a face. 'They all look like prunes, don't they?' he asked his exhausted wife. Aly in response nudged him with her head and then yawned.

'Are you going to let the others in?' she asked him.

'Eventually,' he replied and brushed the hair from the newborns face. His wife nudged him again and he opened the door to allow in the rest of their hoard.

'Mummy, why does it look silly?'

'What's it name?'

'Is it a boy or a girl?'

Patiently, Nawat and Aly answered as many questions as they could and then Nawat sent the children all to bed. As he was doing this, Aly started talking to the newborn.

'Even though there are many wars going on around you, and it isn't safe to be a baby, I promise that I will do as much as I can to keep you safe. Because the safest place I know is with the black god.'