|It was not much being it was Christmas, just himself and the
others, he hoped that there would be enough to be feeding them all. It
would have been grand to have been returning home with gifts, parcels
tied with ribbon, food that the young uns would never have even
imagined.....Truth be told there never had been much. No roasted goose
or chestnuts, nor any of that egg nog that he had read about. Not here
in the Woolshed, those stories of Christmas had made his mouth water
when he was a child, though what an egg nog would taste like he really
had no idea, but the thought of it had remained with him. He wondered
if those folk that lived in them big houses were now sitting with their
egg nog, mouths pursed as they spoke of those outlaws.....copper
killers, the women shivering delicately as they gently sipped.
Ladies them all. Starched and proper, corsets and petticoats......he had known some of those women. Like wild things caged they were. A shake of the head and a sigh. Even a rabbit would have been good, stringy though it would have been it would have been something to be putting in the pot.
Egg nog...aye....the thought of it seeming even better now, crouched in the bush watching the china men leaving their diggings, the quick chatter as they packed up, talk of the day, of what they would be doing with that bit or rice that they had still from the day before. And then them shuffling off into the dusk, queues swinging as they vanished into the gloom.
Time to be moving. A whistle to his mates and then four dusty lads, mebbe almost men, sometimes......though he felt more of a child this day. Looking for his Mam, looking for some hot food, some motherly affection even, though he never knew if it would be a cuff on the ear or some sad look for his situation. Not that he had really chosen it. Better than being dead....for now.