There were old hatreds. Those are part of another story. Now their families never met, never spoke, and all the people of the families were watched and kept strictly apart, as happens in old stories of hatred closely and carefully kept.
One day the girl, who was never anymore allowed to see the boy but who had secret ways of speaking to him, ways that confounded their keepers, stumbled on a precious thing.
A string of words.
She tried to wear it, but no one could see it.
She tried to share it, but no one could hear it.
She thought to put it in a secret place, but she felt it whimpering and knew that dark would kill it, so she took it back out and sat with the string in her hand, wondering, and they were sad together, she and the string.
She tried and tried, she did her best but she couldn't think what a string of words might be for, yet they sat in her hand and looked up at her hopefully, trusting.
And she thought, as she always did, of the boy.
She remembered, long ago, when once she had seen him, for a moment, they had spoken of a game sometimes played by their people, the tribe of speakers.
A story-toss game.
The game of Say and Say.
She thought, I can wrap this string in a secret and send it to the boy by the ways that confuse and confound and he will know what to do.
So she did.
And waited, looking off toward where she knew the boy was, hopefully, trusting.
The next day a little bundle came to her, a little bundle wrapped in a secret slipping down the hidden ways of mystery and conundrum, sliding and falling at her feet. She opened it and the string of words shouted up at her hopefully, trusting, jumping, hopping in a crowd of friends.
The boy had taken the string and made a scarf.
She wrapped the scarf around her arms, and by evening she had made of it a shawl. She wrapped it up, in the way she knew, the way she had learned, and sent it back to the boy who was hopeful and trustworthy.
He returned her back the shawl and mittens.
She wore the mittens all that day but sent them back before dark only by now the shawl was a cloak which she had made and in which he slept. She knew he slept cold.
This went on, days and days and nights, no one cold, no one lonely, everyone wrapped in a secret tied by words.
What could the world do but stand and shake its head, confounded?
This is not a story that ends, but it is all I will tell.
You may make more of it for yourself.
Find a string of words.