an audiobook I produced in 2023
Middle Aged (35-54)
North American (General)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
County Clare Ireland, 18 86 foot and a tariff is no task for a mere we in the lad thought, feeling a sense of pride in his manly expertise. It was grueling work especially in the late afternoon, but he took the sore muscles and aching back as sure signs that he was transitioning to adulthood. Paul taught the boys well before the death coach arrived to claim the old fella in early spring. Glad knew how to assemble the triangular turf foots vertically and touching at the top for maximum sunlight. Over the coming weeks, the boys had developed an efficient system where his older brother Kevin would haul bricks from the strands leaving little Connor to foot them. For the final drawing. The work required Connor to periodically fix the track of the sun in his mind to capture maximum sunlight for the drying. Turn an east to plot a fix. Connor spotted a thick smoke trail deep gray like a rain cloud. It rose slowly over the ridge just beyond the bog in the direction of the family cottage. It was a curious sight this fine afternoon. So there was no burning to be done around the home place that day, Kevin. He called out to his older brother. Do you see the smoke? Oh, you do? Indeed, brother. We'll leave the turf for today and be on our way now at the top of the ridge, beyond the dips, stone fences and green fields, the barefoot boys could make out their cottage in the distance. A grass fire beside the stonehouse spewed great flames high into the dwindling light. A crowd of men scurried hastily about the place. At least two of them on horseback as they drew closer to the mayhem. The young lads could see their ma standing outside the cottage holding two skinny chickens. There are a few sheep and a pig stood on the back of a horse drawn wagon. Sure what's going on. Then Kevin Connor asked in a state of mild anxiety. Uh Don't you worry to Connor, they'll all be off in a shake of a stick and we'll be back at the bog in the morning. As usual, they stopped in front of their home and the boys watched as three strange men on the roof worked feverishly dismantling the thatch and dropping great handfuls onto a burning pile near the front door, apparently displeased with the lack of progress. A constable and horseback shouted at the men just fire the whole bloody roof in the blink of an eye. The entire roof was ablaze. Even at seven years of age, Connor knew something sinister was afoot another three or four workers huddled around the fire resting after their stock round up, seeing the boys arrive from the bog, their ma walked toward the cart with the chickens. Motioning for Kevin, a joiner, stay with the pull cart. Connor, there was not a hint of panic or anger in her voice. Everton is fighting dandy here. Now, as Connor's two last living family members whispered quietly in the trampled garden amidst the chaos. A uniformed constable on horseback galloped up to the cart down from there. Now, boy, this card is confiscated for our ears. They're the landlord's property. Now you'll be off this property by Marin. The voice conveyed a hostile tone and only compounded young Connor's confusion. Still whatever these fellows were up to did. Not so much as raise a hair on ma's head and her with a temper legendary from here to Liz Du Varna. Before Connor could give voice to his confusion, he felt Kevin's arms around his waist, lifting him to the ground. Oh, come on now, Connor, Kevin prodded. Sure. There's nothing to cry about it. Is only the constable come to collect the rent. These idiots on the roof did us a kindness. Sure. I wasn't planning to replace this leaky old thatch in any case they did us a favor ripping it out. Sure. Now you can help me to roll up a new one. We'll be alright. First thing tomorrow, ma and we'll fix this right with the landlord. Don't be daft. Connor, snapped, embarrassed. Sure, I wasn't crying, was something in my eye, but he did cry and he did not know the reason. Still. Kevin's words reassured Connor because his older brother never lied to him. This was bad but fixable as the gang around the fire began to hoot and pass the jug. The boy's mother, Finola held Connor tightly by the arm. Come now me boys, let's go down the road to Mrs Hennessy's for a cup of tea. The next morning, Kevin woke his younger brother at the crack of dawn beside the hearth on Mrs Hennessey's floor. Come on now, Connor, let's get the crack on. Sure. We're off to build more new cottage. And didn't I tell you it'll all work out?