Orb's Year 933
Braden did not know much about Robin, but thought he was a good sort. "As long as she is in agreement and you swear to take good care of her," Braden said, "I don't see why not."
Robin smiled. "Thank you, I will make her happy."
"It doesn't matter to me either way. This is just as much your land as it is mine. Whether Garth makes us proud or a son of my own, it makes no difference to me!"
Cade didn't look convinced. "What about all the years you toiled in the fields alone?" he asked, somewhat ashamed of his pleasure-seeking youth. "You mean you really wouldn't mind if Garth inherits the Farmer fields?"
The matter put to rest, the brothers moved on to talk of the winter winds and protecting the
Braden hurried to stand by his wife and comforted her. "A beautiful girl that will shine like you do," he told her. "We will call her Ingrid."
As Uma wept over the disappointment of not providing her husband with an heir, Cade backed out of the room to give them privacy.
Orb's Year 934
Cade put his hands on his hips and nodded towards the work left undone on the floor. "You were raised better than to put off work. Although we are peasants and dirty our hands in the fields, we also exercise our minds!"
"But Dad..." Garth started to whine before he stopped at his father's glance.
"That's right. She's sleeping. Come along, let's leave her be," Uma said as she carried Helga from the room.
Mama said that she could play in the room as long as she was quiet, so Gia was quiet as a mouse. She didn't want to get in trouble for waking the baby up!
Smelling something horrible, Gia jumped up and stared at the crib.
Was that smell from the baby?! she thought with horror. "No, no, no!" Gia lectured the sweet sleeping child. "I'm telling Mama!"
Orb's Year 935
"Dinner is ready!" she called out. "Garth, go run and tell the men to come in for dinner." Gia nodded as Garth hurried outside and she began setting the table.
Braden glanced up at his daughter and smiled. "Of course. In fact, I can do better than that! Would you like to learn to read?"
Delight raced across Helga's face. "I would love to, Daddy! You'll teach me! You mean it?!"
Braden settled his daughter down and began to work on the basics with her, walking away from an unhappy toddler Ingrid.
Orb's Year 936
"Am I ever!" Garth said excitedly.
Cade clasped his son on the shoulder and grinned. "Wonderful! You'll start by looking for bugs on the plants."
Garth grimaced. "Can't I do something more helpful?" he asked. "I'm not a baby!"
Cade knelt before his son. "Every piece is important, Garth, from laying the compost to picking the bugs to tending the weeds. If one step is skipped, the harvest will fail and our bellies will be empty. Do you understand?"
Glancing at his brother, Braden, Cade knew that it would soon be time to begin teaching Garth all they knew about the fields and farming to continue their proud heritage.
Uma looked at her fingers, twirled in her lap. "I don't want to go, but I know that I need to go. The King needs service and I am of an age. Uncle Ennis will be there to watch out for me." Besides, she added silently, it will free up space in the home for her growing sisters.
Braden kissed his daughter's cheek. "We will miss you."
Cade watched as Gia hugged her parents goodbye. "I was going to go to Grocer's Delicatessen to sell our produce. I can drop her off before I speak with Gemma."
Cade playfully tapped his brother's shoulder. "I think it would be quite hard to miss the King's castle!"