Fear gripped the entire village with everyone finally believing that Linda was a victim of unseen beings. This after every man, both married and unmarried, swore to the village chief during their one-on-one interrogation that they never touched her. The girl herself confirmed that, without a boyfriend or husband, no one had sexually touched or molested her.
At dusk, every late afternoon, all girls and ladies of the village who were capable of conceiving and bearing a child had to stay inside the house, hushed and behaving well per recommendation from the village council composed of elderly men and women. Only males could get out on errands at night for various concerns. They could not imagine the fact that a young lady in their village would get pregnant despite having no contact with a man. Only a spirit from the nearby trees and mountains could have done it.
But a man named Tomas, noted for his practical wisdom and philosophical ideas, was the only one in their village who was not convinced. He believed nothing happens without a real cause. And he could not believe it was the doings of unseen beings. So he decided to have his probe, aiming to find some reliable truths by asking specific questions.
Linda, who was luckily cooperative, was willing to answer his queries. He then learned from her that, before her pregnancy, she frequented the nearby creek to do the laundry. She pointed to him the rock on which she sits down to wash their clothes, and the little pool where she rinses out those clothes, her half, lower body submerged in it. These gave Tomas some brilliant ideas that drove him to further search for truths.
The next thing he did was to trace the creek upstream, wanting to find out more. He walked against the cascades of flowing water, sometimes forming mini-waterfalls, at times a wider pool of crystal-clear water. A few minutes later, he came across a clearing, the creek still traversing its midst. There, he saw Oscar, a young farmer who was cultivating the soil. Tomas greeted him, not divulging his real purpose in going there. He just chanced upon this farm, he claimed, which was somehow true.
But the presence of a man there made him suspect something, so he started asking questions, making sure the young man would not wonder. Tomas learned that Oscar was not only unmarried but had no girlfriend, too, oftentimes alone at work to support his family that survived his father’s death years ago. These were hints enough for Tomas to ask his final questions. “How do you manage your sexual needs?” he asked with a smile, almost jokingly.
The young man smiled and, seeing that he was talking to a man like him, he hardly hesitated to admit that he resorted to self-manipulation till he reached the peak. He revealed that he preferred to do it in the creek, under a shady tree, so he could easily clean his hands and all. Having said that, he grinned at his visitor, who smiled back with contentment.
As Tomas walked back to their village, he tried to reconcile some things. His mind was now rid of doubts, as clear as the blue sky above him. He knew he found the answer, and it was a better, more reliable answer. He sighed with relief and felt amused with his discovery. It was just a matter of explaining to the village council, and he would be able to resolve the case that had perplexed the entire village.