“But what about the fish, Mother?”
Marius Veranius interrupted his mother as she told him tales of the gods and heroes before he went to bed. The little boy sat up, blanket clutched tightly as he looked in horror at his mother. She blinked, trying to understand her son’s sudden fear.
“Marius? What do you mean?”
“If the stars are fish when they sleep, then what about the fish that we get from the market? What if we ate a star for dinner?”
His brown eyes were huge in his small tanned face and Domitia paused, deep in thought.
“I think, my little one, that the gods would protect the stars from our nets. At least, the ones that aren’t clever enough to escape on their own.”
Marius bounced excitedly.
“Do you think so, Mother?”
“I do.” She tousled his hair and kissed his forehead. “Now get to sleep, my son. The word around the market is that Legio IV is only a day’s march from home. Do you know what that means?”
“Father is coming home!”
Domitia laughed as her son snuggled down into the blanket and grinned up at her.
“Can we go meet them when they get back? Will there be a parade? Do you think Father’s General will get a Triumph?”
“So many questions! We’ll go see them tomorrow, Marius, and we’ll find the answers to all your questions.”


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