It had been weeks since Hahna and Daffyd spent the entire afternoon playing by the stream, letting the water trickle over their toes, tasting its fresh cleanness, and catching trout to take home to Ma.

Every day, they desperately tried to cheer up Ma, to get her away from the gate post where she watched, waiting for Pa to return from the king’s Crusade.

Most days they did the bulk of her chores. They tended the fire, cleaned the floors and changed the reeds, cooked meals, and tended the little cottage garden.

What if Pa never came home?

They worried.

***

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