The Light by Jackie Halliday
In this story Jackie was reminiscing about the atmosphere in a particular room in the farmhouse where her father grew up. Then her writing led her to consider how his mother would have coped in a crisis.
The pale yellow light filtered in through the lead light stained glass windows giving the closed in L shaped veranda an olde worlde atmosphere reminiscent of circus sideshows, carousels and clowns. We loved the mystery of this strangely shaped, rarely used room, ancient, musty and exciting. It wrapped around the old farmhouse connecting the two bay windows. It was where my father grew up. I can imagine him playing here too, with his two brothers and older sister.
Was the veranda covered in then? I don’t know and it’s too late to ask.
Dad had an impressive scar down the shin of his right leg. We never saw it much as he always wore long trousers. If we asked he would show it to us. “Tell us the story,” we pleaded.
When he was a toddler he ventured into the pigpen. The old sow with her new litter was not pleased and prepared to attack. I imagine Granny leaping over the fence to rescue him but not before much damage had been done. I wonder what happened next. No Emergency Departments then. He must have bawled the place down. How did Granny repair the wound? Did she give him stitches? She wasn’t a nurse. How did she prevent infection?
I’ll never know.
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