A Cup of Tea and a Biscuit (Fiona Squire)

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.

Chapter Two

Fiona Macrae Squire

1950

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.

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in A Cup of Tea and A Biscuit (a story of Nova Scotia), My fiction and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to A Cup of Tea and a Biscuit (Fiona Squire)

  1. Peter G says:

    Accompanying her were four of her twelve daughters. This brood, ranging in age from ten years to three, …

    I was trying to calculate the combined age of the brood, but either I just wasn’t born to be a mathematician, or I’m missing some crucial information to complete the task.

    Who’s Benny? A rabbit or another yellow dog? Because my mom has a bunny that loves bananas buy won’t touch carrots. The neighbor’s dog, Jenny, however, loves vegetables, including carrots.

    That’s why I’m confused.

    No portion of this book may be copied or reproduced for any purposes.

    What happened to the part that says except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles?

  2. Peter G says:

    GRRRRRRRR….. how does one add code in a comment without it turning into a quotation mark????

  3. I like Fiona already! You are creating her with such clever touches. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but “Daddy’s baler has punched divots all over this field” could have more than one meaning. I’m choosing to think it does.

  4. Cheri says:

    Peter, you are a splendid editor. Thanks for reading. I have taken your observations to heart and made changes.

    Thomas, Yes. I am known for writing just about everything with more than one meaning. Also, many of my previous blog posts lead up what I am writing. It’s laying the thought experiment with careful readers like you, and then proceeding on.

    The post about the loon provided feedback from the men who so graciously read my blog and put up with my ideas. This feedback goes into my story line.

  5. Richard says:

    Its all there, Cheri, the harmony, the mystery, the subtle twists, sensibilities, hints and ambiguities, the concealed shyness: in short, everything that appeals to us about you and your writing and makes us want to return again and again.

    It is highly original. It comes naturally, so relax.

    • Cheri says:

      Gee Richard. That’s about the nicest review of my writing I have ever had. Thank you for those words.

      And I will try to relax, but unfortunately, that verb is not part of my nature.

  6. I thought Canada geese and loons were two different birds. The male behind and the female in front is typical loon formation, so is monogamy.
    Mind you Canada geese are also monogamous but they part after nesting and before hatching. The two same birds will meet again and mate year after year till one dies.
    Loons stick toghether till the hatchlings fly away, then, till the next year, they go there own way.
    Both species return to the same nesting places.
    But I could be wrong.

    • Cheri says:

      Paul,
      Loons and Canada geese are two different birds. We have many Canada geese here in the Bay Area. I have read they are monogamous, so I used that type of bird in my story.

      I read somewhere that the Canada geese stick together.

      If I can ever finish a book (will have that opportunity next year, I think…) I will employ you to be my fact checker!

  7. andreaskluth says:

    So Emma Ann is the youngest daughter (not present here) of Fiona Macrae, correct?

    (Fiona Macrae is a female slug, btw.)

  8. Cheri says:

    Hi Andreas,

    Yes. Emma Ann will narrate (maybe) this story. She is Fiona’s youngest daughter, not yet conceived.

    And yes, you are correct. Fiona Macrae will be, for the first time in her life, a female slug.

    The important question is what would lead her to commit such an act?

  9. Fact checker? My God I would be back to my old business of checking reports to the Youth Protection Director.

  10. Pingback: A Cup of Tea and a Biscuit (Chapter Three) « Notes from Around the Block

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