Story of the Day: Lochan's Home
An excerpt from one of the later books.
Although the house belonged to Lochan and he knew well that he could do as he wished, there were regulations made in the Donnegal home that he had kept since his removal to Farriage: no animals at the table, washing behind one’s ears after bathing, and wearing thick boots in the snow and rain were a mere few of the household rules their mother impressed upon them, and though Mrs Donnegal was not present, there was ever a compunction to maintain the ordinances she had laid down. Lochan therefore promised at least not to place the doe on a chair and to wash her hands with a warm cloth before allowing her to tough anything on the table. As Lochan was not a skilled maker of friends, the twins agreed to these stipulations, pleased to see Lochan take interest in someone who was at least half human, and said no more about the matter.
The hands were washed, the country hats were removed, and everyone was prepared to sit down to table. Lochan sat on the one side with the doe on the floor beside him and the twins sat on the other, waiting for the benefactor of the meal to fill his plate first. Lochan had begun to select some slices of meat and some cheese when a notion suddenly struck his: there were three others sitting with him and sharing his supper. It could not be boasted as a grand or a formal feast, but it was made ever grander by the presence of those he adored. It was true that Shirse in his visits would stay a few moments to share a meal and discuss prices for his stock, but here was pleasanter company. The large table now had other places set round it, and three of the six chairs were now occupied when they had never used to be. He tried to recall the last time he had entertained so many at once, and while three could not be called so many to most, there were others in his house : this was a notion to delight Lochan immensely. Having been always used to eat alone, the chief of Lochan’s apprehensions lie in having a home, property and consequence and having no one with whom to share it. Even having only one other at his table was a treat for him, two was exceptional, but having three was unconquerable bliss. Lochan made a foolish grin as he took his first slice of sausage, and as the talking and raillery at table began, he felt that perhaps his one-floor red house could for now be considered a tolerable home.