A year went by.
Jerek never tried to run away again. He felt that he had missed his chance. And besides, where would he go? The whole adventure began to seem like a silly, childish dream.
Not to say that he was satisfied. The strains of boredom and responsibility wore at him. Occasionally he would lash out at his mother or his father. He was swiftly punished on each occasion. Jerek's father, the war hero, old and wounded though he was, could still kick Jerek's ass.
Amanda had drowned in the river. What she had been doing there no one could say. What was certain was how costly her passing had been to the butcher. He could barely conduct business without a mention of his poor girl, so like a daughter to him, and so tragically passed before her time.
Her body was left in an unmarked grave. Two weeks later the snows came, and the wolves dragged her out of the ground and away into the woods, piece by piece.
Jerek was left alone with the cows. Someone had to watch them, after all.