by cheri block
To read Chapter One, you will need to return to to a previous post. In the future, as the story develops, I will use the picture to the right, taken last summer (2009) outside Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia, to signal a posting of the next chapter in my book.
Fiona Macrae Squire
Fiona Squire took a short cut, walking through the middle of the alfalfa field, acreage now burdened by the weight of hundreds of newly cut hay bales her husband Forbes had left there to dry out. The green blocks—compressed and fashioned by the latest machinery of the day—would soon be gathered up with hooks and hoisted onto their wagon. To the barn they would go.
Accompanying her were four of her twelve daughters. This part of Fiona’s brood, ranging in age from ten years to three, followed behind their independent mother, carrying their picnic lunches, rag dolls, and fresh carrots for the horses at the barn. Were one of the town’s nosy citizens watching this procession, he might have imagined an elegant long-necked goose to be taking her goslings to the water for swimming instruction. So orderly and obediently they followed.
“Come on, girls. Keep up with Momma and watch out for holes among the clods. Daddy’s baler has punched divots all over this field. Alison, take hold of Heather and Mary’s hands and urge them forward,” Fiona ordered.
Ten-year-old Alison, appreciating this rare moment of distinction, responded with military obedience, “Heather! Mary! Stay with me. Hold my hands. No dawdling. Aren’t you excited? We are on our way to the barn and if you put one foot ahead of the other, the going will be quicker. Before long, we will be feeding the pony Benny all the carrots.”
Heather and Mary, Fiona’s three-year-old twins, fell into step with Alison and eight-year-old Sarah as they all anticipated flattening their hands and then offering to the pony the carrots pulled out of their garden this very morning, carrots still adorned by their green-topped tresses and still coated by the sedimentary Nova Scotia soil.
Fiona Squire alone commandeered her children to the barn. Unlike the monogamous Canadian goose, whose gander would have been at the end of the procession bringing up the rear and guarding his goslings and mate from predators, she ventured out free and unencumbered by duty, looking forward to her Friday conversation with Francois Sabourin.
All Rights Reserved. 2010 No portion of this book may be copied or reproduced for any purposes except for brief quotations in critical reviews and articles.
By Edict of Judge Blah.