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An Epiphany Gift for Robin

A Short Medieval Christmas Story

Arthur and Mariot are among the poorest of the poor serfs in 12th Century England. Some call them chattel, no better than the oxen that plow the baron’s fields. While the Yule log roars in the great castle hearth and the baron and his household feast on Christmas goose, Arthur’s family shivers in the cold. Serfs are not meant to dream or love, but Arthur dares to do both. Twelve days after Christmas, on the gift giving day of Epiphany, Arthur makes a sacrifice that will change the future of one of his family members forever.

An Epiphany Gift for Robin, by award winning medieval author Joyce DiPastena, is a short story that will touch your heart and warm your soul this Christmas season.

Word length of short story is approximately 2700 words.

Author’s note: Robin is the hero of my full length romantic historical, The Lady and the Minstrel.

“A heart warming Christmas story that captures the rural life of peasants in medieval times with such purity.” —Margaret, Goodreads Reviewer


The food was long gone now, along with the merry games played by the villagers to keep warm in the winter snows. The ivy and holly so gleefully gathered and hung by the children to brighten their tiny thatched cottage had grown dry and crisp, crackling off their garlands and crushed by shoes to form a fine, fragrant dust on the earth-beaten floor. Today, Epiphany, the day the Magi had presented their gifts to the Christ child, was the last day of respite her family would have from the backbreaking work in the baron’s fields.

“What foolish thing have you done?” Marriot demanded of her husband. Gifts were only given to small children on Epiphany, especially among the poor.

Her husband’s dark eyes danced with that mischievous gleam that had won her heart ten years ago.

“Sometimes a bit of foolishness is just what a man needs to bestow on the woman he loves.”

She heard a trio of high-pitched giggles from the children.

“Open it, Ma, open it!” little four-year-old Lottie trilled.

“Aye, Ma. Da’s been ready to bust for days, waiting for you to see it,” said Robin.

Marriot cast a suspicious gaze at her middle child. He bounced excitedly on the balls of his feet, the exact image of his father at the same age with his black hair and bright dark eyes.

“Do you know what this is, Robin?”

Robin smiled slyly, but neither shook nor nodded his head.