New Story for the #NewYear: The Gingerbread Cottage

As much as everyone loves Shayne, he's a bit 'out in the fields' when it comes to going anything other than his leatherwork:
     The order was made, and with the gingerbread pieces packed, they returned to the keep, Rautu satisfied with his schemes and Boudicca interested to see how much of the gingerbread village would be built before her mate should come to stake his claim on a farm or a latrine. The giant went off on his afternoon hunt in the Royal Wood, to wait until the gingerbread houses were built before insisting upon eating them, and Boudicca moved toward the kitchen, where the children were sat round the table, making decorations for the tree that was to come later in the evening. Hathanta and Baronous were sat with them, Hathanta looping silver threads through the glass globes of the sealrealta, and Baronous relating the Ailineighdaeth story, a history, though well-known to everybody in Frewyn, always entertaining.
                “Oh, Commander,” said Baronous, ushering her into the oven room. “You just missed me tellin’ the story of the holiday.”
                “I’m sad to have missed it,” said Boudicca, approaching the table. “I am sure you will tell another, however. Here,” putting the packed gingerbread pieces onto the table, “we have our work to do. Perhaps you might relate a few more holiday tales while we build.”
                “Ooo!” Soledhan cooed, unpacking the paper. “What’s this, Iimaa?”
                “Something to keep minds occupied and fingers busy.”
                “Will you make it with us, Aunt Bou?” asked Little Jaicobh.
                “If you like, I will certainly do my best to help, though I think Varthrasta is best suited to building these things.”
                Hathanta spoke for his mate being busy, making something for the holiday, but he would be by later in the evening, and perhaps the children might show him their finished project then.
                Martje came out from the larder just as the children were dividing the gingerbread slats, and she cast an eye toward the table. “What’s that there, kin?”
                “Something you will not like, I’m sure.“
                Here was a dangerous look. “Bettidh make it?”    
                “Not to worry, Martje,” Boudicca simpered. “This gingerbread is not made to be delicious. It is made to be useful, and therefore is as hard as tack and is as sumptuous as a lump of slag.”
                “Aye, sounds like somethin’ she could make,” Martje quietly grumbled.
                “Don’t be ridiculous, Martje. You know there is no real rivalry between you. You nourish and sate the hunger of a keep, and she makes things with structural integrity.”
                Boudicca tapped the gingerbread slat against the table, it made a dull thudding sound, and Martje managed an amiable smile. Bringing in baked goods from an exemplary competitor was a slight to Martje’s feelings, but gingerbread with the same consistency as corrugated fiberboard was hardly anything to fuss about. “If it keeps the wee-uns outta my pans and away from the ovens for the day, they can build that hardtack castle or whatever it is all they’re wantin’.”  
                The children set to work separating the slats and determining which wall pieces were to go with which roofs. There was a gabled house, a cottage, a latrine which pretended to be a byre, a farmhouse, and something that tried to be an A-line shed, but the print did not come out quite right, and it ended up being only two small triangles wedged between a broken door. The honey and icing were heated and stirred, the application bag was filled, and Boudicca was put in command of the icing and building, delegating which pieces were to be attached to others and which were to be stuck on and smothered for artistic measure.
                “Sol, you’ve got the sprinkles and the little snowflake-shaped candies there, Dorrin you are in charge of the icing knife, and LJ you are the man to watch for structural inconsistencies. Are we ready?”
                The pieces were laid down on their plain sides by edifice, and after some calculation, they were iced and stuck together, the cool dry air from without hardening the icing and setting the joints of the buildings. Only twenty minutes and a few failed walls brought them to the end of the building stage, pausing only to realize that the cottage had been built wrong: the walls and roof slats were in opposite places, making the cottage wide-thatched and narrow-bottomed, but the icing had already hardened, and they would have to break it apart to fix it now.
                “I like our mistake,” Boudicca announced, holding up the monstrosity. “It looks unique and gives the cottage character.”
                “The roof looks like it’s falling down,” Dorrin laughed.
                “Well, we can pretend this is Uncle Shayne’s cottage then. Martje, we have decided this crooked cottage is yours.”
                Martje looked over from the counter. “Aye, it would be,” she huffed, preparing a pork chine. “Looks about right for that house, all the walls fallin’ down and floors droppin’ out. Yer Uncle Shayne’s a beacon in a bog, but if yer ask him to fix that there cottage for you, you’ll be waitin’ till next Ailineighdaeth.”  
                “Martje, you are too terrible,” Boudicca said, laughing. “He did his best fixing that old house.”
                “Old? Ha! That house was about as old as th’day’s butter when I saw it first. Only looked like the sky fell down on it ‘cause yer Uncle Shayne took an age and a half to do the repairin’.”
                A soft defense of, “I had work to do all the winter…” came from the workshop below, followed by a hush from Tomas, who was glad of the peace and quiet of the holidays and wanted one day without Shayne trying to wheedle his way of something that was most certainly his fault. He loved Shayne and was glad to call him family, but his forgetfulness with regard to keeping promises made to a most industrious and responsible wife often gave Tomas the headache that ought to have been Shayne’s.