Story for the Day: Lochan Donnegal
Here is a little bit about Sheamas' brother Lochan. Enjoy!
Lochan Donnegal, a relatively young stockman at thirty, of stout build, simple mind and sanguine person, roused from sleep early that morning with the object of finishing the chief of his work before evening. This day, which began as a significant day due to its being his favourite brother’s birthday, became important for another reason. He raised from his bed and prepared for his day, willing to forgo the comforts of a morning meal if only to have more work done in its place. There were animals to be fed, pens to be fixed, young creatures to be given warm milk and nourishing minerals, a cow to be milked, eggs to be taken in from the coops, the greener of baled hay to be doled for eating and the paler to be made into new floor mats for resting. An apple would do for his breakfast before all this work was to be done, and after donning his overalls, Lochan hopped from the kitchen of his small red house whence he grabbed an apple from the basket beside the door and went outside to stand on his porch and glory in the prospect of the sunrise.
It was already promising to be an exquisite day: the crispness in the air made Lochan scrunch his button nose; the white rays of the early morning light peering through the trees at the edge of the range caused him to narrow his deep blue eyes; his freckled cheeks flushed with colour when he inhaled the delicate fragrance of the dew on the grass. He surveyed the pens of sheep and goats and pigs, heard their bleating and snuffling sounds, and remarked the whole of his land with a glint in his eye and his apple raised to his lips. Although he was desirous of seeing his family in the evening, this prospect was enough to grant him a day’s exultation. Many mornings had been the same, and if not for the splendor of his land and the grandeur of how well he had done for himself, he could not have borne the solitude of working alone as well as he ought. He would have someone there, and yet he had been so used to do all his work unaided that there was hardly need for him to have an apprentice besides the reasons of company and companionship. The abundance of his duties kept his mind consistent and appeased, and though not a man of grand understanding, his sweetness of character and charitable nature made him the greatest stockman in the kingdom.
Not many knew Lochan Donnegal by name, but his range was distinguished, and moreover the business partner he had in Shirse Donnegal, one of the paramount traders in Frewyn, made him the wealthiest husbandman on the Southern Continent. He had no notion of his fortune, however; not only was there little need for opulence for one who boasted such a simple style of life, as he had inherited his property and earned enough to purchase such land numerous times over, but also Lochan’s powers of intellect would not allow him to consider more than one thing at a time. If his mind was on his work, it was on nothing else, and when his attention was not otherwise engaged, he was thinking of his family and of the brothers and sister he seldom had a moment to see.
Standing on the porch and gazing at the whole of his consequence, the hand yet holding the apple to his lips felt to his side as his mind wandered from the coming exertion of the day toward considerations of his family. Shirse visited often enough, but his was a disposition of business and not one of affection. Speaking with him was speaking of prices for animals that he had cared for since their infancy. There was so little emotion to be discovered in his conversancy in comparison to one like Sheamas: here was his cherished brother, one he had cradled in his arms and whispered to and fed until he had grown to be the largest Donnegal in the family. Although Lochan was the shortest and one of the roundest of the Donnegals, Sheamas being the tallest and the thinnest of the siblings had never made him feel unequal to his purpose. Opposite in profession, the one raising the animals and the other selling them for meat, the two had never had a discrepancy in their friendship. Lochan only wished that Sheamas could come away from the capital oftener than he had done, for Lochan’s work was such that he could not leave his pens for more than a few hours together, making Diras and even Tyferrim a distance. He suffered in this consideration, the brightness of his countenance failing, and he was only shaken from the notion of his loneliness when he spied a patch of something red and glistening a few feet from the end of the porch stile.