Isolated – Shearingly
Years ago, as a young man, I was riding my horse through a particularly remote & rugged but beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains. I had a pack horse loaded with enough supplies to keep me going through the remaining three weeks of my two-month odyssey. By my estimate I was a good two-day ride from the nearest town but I didn’t care about that, I planned to avoid it as I had all other civilization for the last five weeks. I had seen one other human in that time, a grizzled prospector who came up to my camp, wondering if I had any extra salt. I gave him half of what I’d brought with me.
I took a deep breath of the clean mountain air, filled with a sense of satisfaction and ease. It took a moment, but as my brain analyzed the scents just inhaled I realized I was smelling wood smoke. I looked around, not wanting to get trapped by a forest fire, but saw nothing at all and continued on. My horse found a trail and was naturally following it before I noticed signs of human use. I topped a rise and in a clearing below saw a cabin with smoke coming out of the chimney. Not wanting contact with people I began to rein my horse to the side to work my way around the homestead. On the clear mountain air came the sound of sobbing. I squinted against the bright light and looked down into the clearing. I saw two figures gathered around what looked like a man sprawled on the ground in front of the cabin. One had collapsed on the ground beside the man – it was her sobs I heard.
I sat on my horse studying the situation for a while and then concluded that they might need some help and with reluctance I aimed my horses down the slope toward the cabin. They didn’t hear me coming until I was in the yard. The one standing looked around, saw me and let out a scream. The sobbing woman looked up, saw me and scrambled to her feet. “We don’t want no trouble,” she said, looking fearful. The other one, her daughter, I figured, moved to stand behind her mother, like a little child trying to hide.
“I heard the sounds of grief and thought you might need some help,” I said calmly, still sitting on my horse. She relaxed some at my words and looked between me and the man on the ground. “Does he need a doctor?” I asked.
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“He’s dead,” she said with resignation. I could see a little more clearly now and noticed a lot of blood.
“What happened?” I asked.
“We was cuttin’ wood, thuh tree fell on ‘im.”
“Do you have anyone to help you?”
“No,” she shook her head, “we’s jus’ me ‘n two gurls, all ‘lone out here.”
“Would you object to my help?” I asked kindly.
After a minute she shook her head and said, “Nope.”
I climbed down from my horse and asked what needed to be done. “I dunno, nuthin’ never happ’n like this ‘fore.” I told her that I would carry the body into the house and she should get him cleaned up and changed into burying clothes while I built a coffin. She nodded at that plan.
I carried him to the cabin, the mother bustling ahead and holding the door open for me. When I got inside and my eyes adjusted to the dimness in the cabin I saw another female, standing in the corner, like a little girl being punished.
The mother said, “Put ‘im here.” She was pointing to a sturdy table at one end of the cabin. I laid him out on the table and then went out and got to work. It took a couple of hours with hand tools and rough sawn boards, but it was neatly made and I was proud of it. I was pounding in the last nails when the mother reappeared.
She still looked a little skittish, but I surmised they didn’t get many visitors way out here. She stood at the door and cleared her throat. “M’ name’s Matilda Warren.”
“Hello, Matilda,” I said, “my name is Roger. I’m sorry for your loss.”
She shrugged, taking it more calmly than when I’d first seen her. “We liv’t here for ’bout 23 years now. Haven’t seed an outsider fer the last ten. I think m’ Fred runned ’em off. I’ve got two gurls – you seed ’em – Mary ‘n Sarah – named frum thuh Bible.”
“Mrs. Warren,” I said, “Where would you like the grave dug?”
She pointed toward the east and said, “Top o’ the hill, there’s a spot – we buried two young’uns.”
I finished the coffin and then picked up a shovel and found the spot on the hill she had indicated. It was hard work, but I kept after it. Well into the afternoon Matilda came trudging up the hill carrying a basket. She had some cold spring water in a jug and a sandwich made with thick slices of homemade bread. I sat under a tree and dove into the food eagerly – hungry from the exertions. She sat and watched me eat without saying a word. I couldn’t tell how old she was, and although she wasn’t a beauty, she had nice features – and nice hair (I always noticed a woman’s hair). In another hour and a half I finished the grave. I went back to the workshop and made a cross that looked like the ones already on the hill then walked over to the house. I tapped on the door and Mrs. Warren opened it.
“Are you ready?” I asked. She nodded and said she’d help me. As gently as possible we laid him out in the coffin.
“We gots a problem,” Mrs. Warren said.
“What is it?” I asked gently.
She nodded toward the corner where the girl I’d seen earlier was still standing. “Sarah been naughty. He tolt her tuh stand in thuh corner ’til she gots a whuppin’. He don’t let me whup thuh gurls.” She looked at me hopefully.
I caught on quickly and volunteered, “You want me to spank her?” My parents were quick to use the belt, so I knew how it worked, but I’d never spanked someone before, especially not a grown woman. “How old is Sarah?” I asked.
“She 18, ‘n Mary 20,” she added.
“Are you sure you want me to do this?”
Mrs. Warren nodded firmly and said, “Yes.”
“All right, tell Sarah to get herself ready.” She went over to her daughter and speaking in a low voice talked to her for a couple of minutes. Sarah started to cry. It filled me with some really mixed emotions. I frankly admit, I was excited about the idea of spanking a young woman, but I also felt sorry for her, with all that had happend that day.
Mrs. Warren had a hold of Sarah’s arm and she pulled her out into the center of the room. The hem of their well-worn skirts dangled a couple of inches above their ankles. Mrs. Warren said to Sarah, “Right here!” Sarah, her face as red as a beet, turned to face the wall and then taking a deep breath bent at the waist and grabbed her ankles. Her mother grabbed the hem of Sarah’s skirt and lifted it up above her waist, exposing a pair of very utilitarian panties. Mrs. Warren quickly pulled them down, below Sarah’s knees, and then placed her hand on Sarah’s back to hold her in position and keep the skirt up.
“Did Fred have anything special he used?” I asked.
Both her hands were busy so she nodded at the wall and said, “Thet strap thar.”
I walked over and lifted a leather strap off its hanger. It was a wide, thick, razor strop from the look of it. I hefted it and then swung it a couple of times. I found that doubling it over, shortening it, gave me better control. Sarah could hear the whooshing sounds I was making and she began blubbering again.
“How many does she get?” I asked.
“Fred gived her at least six – more if she wuz real bad. This weren’t the worst she’s done, eight oughta do it.” Sarah cried harder at the thought. I took my position and had soon landed the first blow on her round, quivering buttocks. Instantly a bright red stripe appeared where the rough leather contacted soft flesh. I got into a rythm and picked up the pace. Soon eight hard whacks were done and I stepped back.
Mrs. Warren said, “Sarah, yuh know what tuh do.”
I was a little surprised when Sarah stood upright, tugged up her panties, smoothed her skirt back into place and then came toward me. She reached up with her slender arms and hugged me, saying through her tears, “Thank you, sir, for spanking me. I deserved it and I promise to be good.” She was tall enough her hair brushed my cheek as she pressed her head against my chest. I studied it while she embraced me. It was light brown hair the color of cinnamon, soft to my cheek and smelled like a combination of soap and woodsmoke. It was long, worked into a thick braid that fell past her waist. I patted her lightly on the back, stroking her hair and said, “You’re welcome, Sarah. I hope you mean it and are good for your mother now.”
After a moment, Mrs. Warren said, “It’s time to bury Fred.” There was a push cart in the barn which I got and the four of us wrestled the coffin outside and onto the cart where we pushed it up the hill. It took all four of us to get it lowered into the grave. We stood over the open grave and Mrs. Warren said, “We oughta read some words over Fred. He wuz a God-fearin’ man” She sent Mary back to the cabin to get the Bible. Mrs. Warren opened the big Bible, obviously not very familiar with it at all. “Fred done all thuh Bible readin’,” she said. Finally she stopped turning pages and haltingly read a few verses. After struggling with it she pushed the Bible into my hands and asked me to read. I read some and she seemed happy with that. We all took turns with the shovel and soon the hole was filled back in and mounded over. Mrs. Warren held the cross steady while I pounded it into the ground at the head of the grave.
After a moment of silence she dusted her hands and said, “Well gurls, it’s just us’ns now. Let’s make thuh best of it.” Then as we started back down the hill she said, “Dinner time. Will yuh join us Roger?” I said I would and sat in a rocking chair where I could watch the three women bustling around in the kitchen. In no time they had some food laid on the table and it tasted a lot better than what I’d been packing around and feeding myself the last few weeks.
It was late in the day when dinner was over and the dishes washed. As the last of the dishes were put away Mrs. Warren came over to me, wiping her hands on her apron. She picked up the Bible where she’d set it earlier and handed it to me. “Fred read to us gurls from thuh Bible every night after our bath. I don’ understan’ it so good, but I likes to hear it read ‘n ‘splained. Please fin’ sump’n to read to us’ns.”
The cabin was just one large room which had a kitchen and eating area, a few chairs by the fireplace and in one corner a double sized bed. There was a ladder going up to a loft where, I presumed, the girls slept. I wondered where they would bathe – but not for long. Mrs. Warren pulled a large copper basin from its hanging place and proceeded to fill it with equal parts of water heated on the cookstove and water from the pump out front. When it was three-quarters full she turned to the girls and said, “Who’s first t’night?”
Sarah said, “I am Mum.” In a jiff she had pulled off her dress & panties and was standing buck naked ready for her bath. I cleared my throat and asked if they would like me to step outside while they bathed. Mrs. Warren said, “No need. Fred jus’ sat right thar ‘n looked at the Good Book.” I wondered how much looking at the book he did. The other two (still clothed) uncoiled Sarah’s long, thick braid and brushed her hair. Then, with her kneeling in front of the basin, they washed it for her, carefully lathering it up and then rinsing it out without a single tangle. I was mesmerised – fortunately they didn’t keep track of whether I was watching them or reading. After her hair was washed, she got a wash cloth and proceeded to wash herself all over. I was amazed that they would be doing this in front of a total stranger – and so unselfconscious!
When Sarah was done, she grabbed three towels, using one to dry off her body and then, donning a simple cotton shift, she sat by the fireplace and worked at her hair, patting it to absorb as much water as possible and then carefully combing it to lift and separate and help with the drying. While she was doing that Mrs. Warren removed the pins holding her auburn hair up at the back of her head and let it down – and down and down. Her hair, no kidding, reached her calves, midway between her knees and ankles! She brushed it out and then Mary helped her wash it. Mrs. Warren then removed her clothes and took her bath. It was Mary’s turn next – Mrs. Warren took Mary’s hair down – a braid coiled around and fastened to the back of her head. Mary’s soft, shiny brown tresses, wavy from the braid, fell to the back of her knees. She had Mary hold her head over the basin and lovingly washed her daughter’s lovely mane. Mary then stripped and took her bath, she was the only one that seemed in the least bit shy of doing it in front of me.
I loved women’s hair, especially long hair and I was glad I was sitting down for this performance – my knees had gone weak through it all. I had long fantasized about cutting a woman’s long hair really short, maybe even shaving her head. I wondered if an opportunity might present itself in this situation. I decided to stick around a few more days and see.
They had rinsed out and put the basin away and mopped up the spilled water when I realized they expected me to read something from Bible. They gathered around my chair, sitting on low stools – wearing simple cotton shifts for nightdresses. They gently combed their hair and patted it dry with towels. I had been holding the Bible open while watching their performance, so I hastily turned my attention back to it and read a chapter to them. I have no idea what it was, but they seemed comforted by the routine. They asked what it meant, and I offered some explanation, though I don’t know how coherent it was – but they were satisfied and had no further questions.
I closed the Bible and Mrs. Warren said, “Thanks, Roger. Thuh One up thar must’v brung you here cuz we’uns needed you today.” Then, without a pause she said, “You kin sleep on thuh bed thar. I’ll sleep in thuh loft.” With that she headed up the ladder. Part way up, she looked back – “Hope ya sleep good.” The girls followed her up the ladder, Mary was hesitant like she might have wanted to stay. Finally she climbed the ladder. They had left one oil lamp on, so I blew it out and then stretched out on the bed. After a minute I took off my boots and my shirt, but no more.
I could hear them whispering up in the loft, but was quite tired and tuned them out. I was nearly asleep when I felt someone easing themselves onto the bed beside me. I was startled awake and whispered “Who is it?”
“It’s Mary,” was all she said. She wiggled into my arms and lay there, tense, like she was afraid I would reject her. I pulled her closer and buried my fingers in her wonderful hair, now dry and smelling nice and clean. She relaxed a bit, then fumbled around at my waist, unfastening my pants and working them down, off my hips. She finally succeeded (with a little help from me). Her fingers toyed with me, instantly bringing to attention a long neglected part of my anatomy. I felt her warm, gentle fingers teasing and enticing then guiding inside her. In a very short time I had exploded in a wonderful release. I was sure it wasn’t the first time she had done this. She held me inside her until I had returned to a more normal size, and then she put her face close to mine and whispered, “Did you like that?” I could hardly speak, just moaning in wonder and pleasure. She smiled and with gentle fingers began raking her fingersnails over my super-sensitized skin. She liked the raspy sound of the two day stubble on my cheeks and the firm muscles of my shoulders, arms, and abdomen.
I talked quietly to her, complimenting her beautiful hair and asking about their isolated lifestyle. I asked her if Fred was her father, it made my skin crawl to wonder if that was how she had learned to do what she’d just done to me. She said he wasn’t. Her father had gone away when she was about ten and they never saw him again. She thought something happened to him in the woods. About two years later Fred showed up and he stayed – about eight years, by my calculations. I wasn’t real experienced, but as we talked my fingers were busy also and soon Mary was breathing hard and moving her hips in a steady rhythm. “Oh, Oh,” she gasped. “Fred never done nothin’ like that fer me.” As she neared a climax I positioned her where I could slip inside again. She welcomed me eagerly and together we experienced even greater pleasure. Shortly after that I drifted off to sleep with her lovely long hair cushioning my head, soft against my cheek.
When I woke up in the morning, the three girls were busy in the kitchen, the sun was peeking in the windows. They giggled as they saw me stick my head out from the covers. I looked for my clothes, found them neatly folded on a chair by the bed and quickly slipped them on. The three were dressed in different but similar clothes as they had worn yesterday. I ate a hearty breakfast and when I was done Mrs. Warren said, “Yur welcome tuh stay as long as yuh like. We’re glad fer all yuv dun fer us.” I asked how they were doing for supplies and where they went when they needed anything. She said Fred made a trip for supplies three times a year and he had been just two weeks before.
They spent the day working in their garden and around the house, doing chores. I saw to my horses and then went over all my gear and made some repairs. Then I washed up some things that had gotten dirty. I was mending the last of my worn harness when the supper call came. The evening went much like the one before, only this time just bathed themselves without washing their hair. When they were done they asked if I wanted a bath. I was a little more comfortable with them now, and I did need one, so I said sure. They dumped out the basin and got fresh water and then proceeded to wait on me, literally, hand and foot, giving me a bath I’ll never forget! They giggled when their ministrations roused a certain resting portion of my anatomy and so by the time they had gone off to bed I was very ready, even eagerly awaiting a nighttime visitor. Sure enough, about ten minutes after I’d blown out the light, someone came to my bed, but this time it was Sarah. The night was even better because I wasn’t quite as tired.
The next day I asked Mrs. Warren what Fred had used for money when he went to town. She said that they had discovered a vein of gold nearby and whenever he needed something he would take what he needed. She had several heavy sacks hidden behind a stone by the fireplace. She opened the sacks and I saw more gold than I’d ever seen before. She said, “I dun’no how much ’tis worth, Fred jus took wha’ he needed ‘n went.” She pushed two of the sacks into my hands and said, “Here, I wan yuh to hev this. We kin always git more.” I tried to refuse but she insisted, so I took them out and tucked them into my pack.
I ended up staying two more weeks, right up until the time I had to leave in order to have enough time to get back home. I took a wagon and went into town for them and stocked up. They would be fine for at least six months with what I left them.
The day before I had to leave during breakfast I said, “I’m going to read the Bible before you start your chores.” I had stumbled across a passage a few days earlier and thought this might be the opening to fulfill my fantasy (although these girls were fulfilling fantasies I never knew I had).
They gathered around, sitting on their low stools, eager faces turned toward me. I read, “The book of Isaiah, chapter 3, verses 16 to 24 says, ‘Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts…. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.'”
“What duz that mean?” they asked me.
I explained, in a somber voice – “I think I’ve been sent here to bring judgment on you.” They gasped. “I came to you on the day a man died. That same night, instead of mourning his death, you pranced around naked in front of me, flaunting your long hair, and then coming to my bed in a wanton and promiscuous way. You acted haughty when you needed to lament and mourn. You need to be chastened!” They looked at each other and then me, nodding their heads, their eyes misting with tears. They didn’t understand all the big words, but knew from the tone of my voice that they had done something wrong and I was reprimanding them.
They asked what would happen to them. I told them they were about to find out. I sternly ordered them to stand in a line in the center of the cabin. I kept my face very sad and solemn and said, “I don’t enjoy doing this, but there is no other way. Tomorrow I’m leaving and you will be alone here. If you don’t deal with your wickedness now and accept your punishment, who knows what bad things will happen to you.” That scared them and with soft, tiny voices they all meekly agreed to be punished.
I went up to Matilda and said sternly, “You, Mrs. Warren, since you are the mother here, bear the most responsibility. You will be punished first.” She lowered her head and nodded mutely. “Now,” quoting from the Bible portion, “…the LORD will discover their secret parts….” I took out my pocket knife, which was honed to near razor sharpness, and grasping the neckline of her dress touched blade to cloth. Instantly the knife separated the fabric as easily as if it were slicing through butter. From neck to hem in less than two seconds and her dress now gaped open in the front. I heard all three gasp with a quick intake of breath. “Take it off,” I commanded Matilda as I went to Sarah who was standing in the middle, and cut her dress right down the front, and then did the same with Mary’s. In short order the three stood before me shivering slightly both from fear and a slight draft on their naked skin. I moved back to Matilda, she had her arms crossed in front of her shielding her chest. I reached down and grabbed the waistband of her panties then slid the knife inside, blade facing out and cut from the waistband to the left leg opening. Quickly I shifted the blade to the waistband again and cut over to the right leg opening. With a forceful tug the panties were pulled from between her legs. I saw her wince and look shocked. The girls were next, their panties removed like their mother’s. When that was finished I stepped back and studied the three of them, now trying to cover their crotch with one hand and their chests with the other arm. I led Matilda over to the sturdy table, helped her climb on and then lay back face up. I pulled her legs apart, then tugged her down so her hips were poised at the edge of the table. I made her lift her legs high in the air and hold them up by having her grasp the back of each knee for support. With that done I put some water (it wasn’t very warm) in a small wash basin and proceeded to lather up and shave her crotch. I used a double edged safety razor I’d found – it must have belonged to Fred. After scraping off all the pubic hair I rubbed a rough towel against her tender skin. I helped her down and then repeated the procedure for Sarah and then Mary. It was worse for Sarah – she saw what was happening to her mother and had all that time to anticipate her own ordeal. Mary had twice as long – the wait was excruciating for her. Soon I had them lined up as before in the middle of the room.
“Now,” I said, “I will come back in six months to check on you and bring you more supplies. During that whole time, all six months, you will wear ‘instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth.’ With that I picked up three burlap sacks I’d brought in from the barn. They hadn’t been washed and were dusty from the feed with which they’d been filled not too long ago. I took my knife and quickly cut crude openings for head and arms. “You can make more of these as you need them, but you will wear nothing besides sackcloth dresses for six months. You will wear them all day long and also to bed at night. Do you understand?”
They meekly nodded their heads that they did. I motioned Sarah to come forward. She stepped toward me with a look of fearful anticipation in her eyes. I helped her into the shapeless sack. She fidgeted from the irritation of the rough cloth and dust against her soft skin and whined, “This is prickly. It hurts.” She tried to lift the rough burlap away from her sensitive nipples and the tender skin of her tummy.
“Oh, listen, you are to wear nothing underneath these sacks – no underwear or anything else. Got it?” They sorrowfully nodded their understanding as the other two shrugged into their new “gowns.” I had them gather all their clothes – every stitch – and stuff everything into a big trunk, then I locked it and pocketed the key. I told them I’d bring the key back with me in six months.
I could tell that they thought this was the end of their punishment. I had one more thing in mind. It was interesting to watch these slender, lithe women scurrying around in sacks. They weren’t nearly as long as the dresses they were accustomed to wearing. In fact, they barely came to the middle of their thighs. When they bent over to pick something up I caught glimpses of the “secret parts” I’d just shaved. It was humiliating for them – they kept tugging them down with little success.
I herded them back into the house and then announced there was one last punishment. I sat Mary down in a straight backed chair and announced she would be first. I ordered Sarah to unfasten Mary’s hair and brush it out. That process took several minutes, as I knew it would. While she was busy with that I got out the small wash basin and poured water into it. I set out a shaving mug and brush, plus the double edged safety razor (for which I’d found & installed a new blade). They couldn’t really see what I was doing because I kept it hidden from them, putting it all on a tray and covering it with a dish towel.
Mary’s unbound hair, when she was seated, touched the floor behind her chair. I stood behind her and gathered her soft, brown tresses together at the nape of her neck, holding it all in my left hand. With my right I pulled out my knife, which I had resharpened while they were gathering their clothes. Before it registered with the other two what I was doing, I had brought the knife to the thick ponytail and severed it from her head. She instantly knew what I had done and sprang to her feet, but the shorn hair stayed in my hand. She burst out in tears, “Roger, why did you do that to me?” she cried. “I’ve never had my hair cut. It took years to get that long. Why? Oh, why?”
“…Instead of well set hair baldness…,” I quoted. “This is part of your chastening, Mary. It will remind you for a long time not to be proud and haughty.”
“But, but,” she sobbed, “I wanted to go away with you. I wanted to leave with you when you went away tomorrow. I was going to ask you tonight. Do you hate me?”
“Mary, sit down,” I said sternly. She blubbered some more but slowly sat down, turned so she could still look at me. “No, I don’t hate you, but as I said before I believe I was sent here to chasten you and I must do it. Now let me finish.”
“Finish?” she gulped and slowly turned to face the other way.
I returned to my place behind her and then section by section I lifted up the hair still attached to her head and slid the knife as close to the roots as I dared. A bit at a time her white scalp was revealed as I worked my way all around her head. Once, when I was almost done, she reached up and felt the uneven stubble on her head. She broke out in renewed sobs, her shoulders shaking so I had to stop until she got herself under control.
Later, when I whisked the towel off the tray and the basin, revealing the shaving cream and razor, she was so numb she barely reacted. I dampened her scalp with the water and then worked up a lather with the shaving brush. I daubed it all over her scalp, covering her with white lather, then methodically scraped the razor all over her scalp, around her ears and down the nape of her neck. I did it a second time to make sure I hadn’t missed any part. She was so humiliated, I think she was in shock.
Sarah was next and she meekly submitted to the same procedure as Mary. She cried, too, but not as hard as her sister. Matilda, when it was her turn, almost eagerly took her seat in the chair. She had the longest hair of all three – well below her knees. The auburn mane was thick and heavy. As I handled it I wondered how she managed to keep her head from lolling over from the weight of her hair. In a level voice she told me she was ready. She explained that both her first husband and then Fred had forbid her to cut her hair. She sometimes secretely trimmed a little off to keep it from looking too frazzled, but a couple of times she had been discovered and gotten a whiping for it. She said it would be a relief to have it shorter, not that she had ever dreamed of being bald. But she shrugged and said anything would be an improvement. When the girls saw their mother taking it so gamely, they quieted down and quit their sniffling. I held Matilda’s long hair together at the back, and asked if she would like to make the first cut. She reached back and took my knife in her right hand and then with her left to feel where to cut, she sliced with a sure, confident movement and nearly five feet of hair came loose in my hands. I quickly finished the job and then shaved her bald. The other two kept rubbing their hands over their own silky smooth scalps. They also rubbed the newly shaved area between their legs. I wondered if the haircutting had excited them. When I was all done with Matilda I waited for a clue whether they were angry at me or not. They seemed resigned to their new hairless state, maybe even getting used to the new sensation, if not enjoying it. I’ve got to say they adjusted well. They served me a nice lunch and were quite attentive and pleasant all day. By the time night came they had given out enough signals for me to know it would be a wild night – and it was!
Before I rode out the next morning I made them promise not to cut their hair in any way before I came back in six months. They agreed to that. I told them I’d bring a pair of scissors when I came back and trim it for them. They smiled happily at the thought. I looked back several times as I rode away – each time seeing three bald but smiling women waving to me.