Story for the Day: A Gathering

A Gathering 
                Dorrin, Ouryn, Fionnora and Ennan had finished with their individual lessons for the afternoon: Ouryn and Dorrin with their fencing, Ennan with his archery, and Fionnora with her healing, and when they all came together at the kitchen table, they delighted in telling one another of what they had each learned, holding high revel, professing to one another of their abilities and demanding to know what their friends had learned that they might glean some powers of understanding into each of their specialties. When Soledhan and Little Jaicobh arrived, there was an end to any peace in the kitchen. Martje was assailed by the sounds of giggles and tinkling voices, all of them eager to share with one another, and all of them equally keen to listen to each other’s tiny lectures. Ennan discussed the importance of a practiced hand with regard to mounting arrows and began his dissertation on using the thumb round the bow as an aiming device when his sister chimed in, pronouncing that the concentration required for archery was much less than the concentration requisite for performing an operation. Dorrin softened the business by declaring that the practice were equal in their importance while Ouryn remained silent, passing timid looks to Little Jaicobh who was waving at her and saying his jovial hellos. Soledhan would have remonstrated against the subject under discussion, but as honeyed biscuits were then placed on the table, all his awareness was in finding the one which should best suit him. The smallest and roundest must be his, and as he hunted for it with his investigative eyes, he allowed the others to say what they would about their lessons, knowing that his own studies were certainly the most significant of them all.
                Martje remarked their little conversation with an enamored grin. “Aye,” she sighed wistfully, “They’re just like a little counsel, gatherin’ and makin’ laws and all. Here comes mine to join ‘em.”
                From the yeoman’s quarter entrance came Maggie, running to her mother with smiles and open arms, and though she was older than most of the children gathered in the kitchen, she was no less disposed to hear them or to relish their company. She was assailed with questions as to what she made and for whom when the commander and Den Asaan entered from the training yard, Sheamas entered from the larder, Shayne and Tomas came in from the armoury, and court being presently over Alasdair joined the party, making a full collection around the table. Every child hastened to greet and sidle their respective parents, and soon Teague entered from the main hall to spend some time with his brother and sister before going on patrol for the evening. Rautu gave his place to Teague with a nod to Hathanta, implying that he would enjoy a few rounds at Hophsaas, and with an assenting smile on Hathanta’s side, the two giants left the kitchen for the training yard where Hathanta instantly lay his robes aside and prepared to trounce the Den Asaan as much as Rautu prepared to retaliate.
                Martje did the honours in pouring tea and buttering the toast, and it was not long after Hathanta and Rautu’s first Hophsaas match that the children began entreating for a story. Their eyes sparkled at the prospect of being told a tale or two during their afternoon repose. Their minds still rife with stimulation- or just in the height of it after a most dreadful afternoon of history-  the children were prepared to receive every ready attention from their parents and ready to be told of great heroes and legends. The commander supposed that all of this flutter for a story was due to the immense old volume that Jaicobh had brought to the keep a few days previous. The ancient book detailing Frewyn’s myths and legends had been a favourite of hers when she was young, filled with remarkable illustrations which she had pored over for countless hours whilst sitting on her father’s knee before the fire of their small farmhouse den. The dry parchment pages with their seared edges recommended much in the ways of enchantment and intrigue for a young child of curious mind and inquisitive character. The book once seen was in constant request. Scarcely a trice had gone by without one of them requesting that the ancient volume should be opened and all its magic be unleashed upon them.


  1. Really enjoyed this friends and family moment around the table. The heart of a home is generally near the kitchen. Why is that? *smile*


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