August 3rd 1867
In one small miracle, two ewes had taken shelter behind one of the rocks Samuel had pushed into place. Both were dead, but their bodies had fallen in such a way that it provided a dry and warm space for their two tiny lambs. James tucked a shivering wee body under each arm and strode away back to the farmhouse before the other men could see his tears. Heather and Vicky would love to feed these hungry orphans, he was sure, and with the luck that had kept them alive, they deserved to be given the best chance.
That night James sat down after supper to take stock. The lake had been a disaster he could have avoided and he would never forgive himself for being the cause of so many unpleasant deaths. On the whole, though, things could have been worse. The barn and yard were crowded with all the survivors and he rather suspected it would be a noisy night as ewes sought out their offspring and lambs bleated for their mothers. The two little orphan lambs had been given a bed in a wooden crate by the fire tonight. Heather and Vicky had, as he suspected, jumped at the chance to nurse them. They girls had spent much of the afternoon coming up with names while they passed a feeding bottle backwards and forwards between their two patients. In the end they had chosen Snowflake and Raindrop for their new pets. He never ceased to be amazed at his children’s capacity for naming things. He chuckled to himself when he remembered Heather and Adey Rose once calling one of the new pups Stick. What kind of a name was that for a working dog?
“What are you laughing about?” asked Sophia as she came back into the kitchen having been to make sure the children were all in bed.
“I was wondering at the girls’ ability to name every living creature. Do you remember Bud and Blossom and Stick?” replied James. “Heather and Adey Rose are just like their mothers, who both wasted a good deal of time on choosing names for their children.”
“Well, you can talk,” said Sophia with a smile. “You are the one who named a dog after a day of the week, after all. Friday is not a dog’s name really.”
“Aye, but you must remember the old girl’s name meant ‘far sighted’, which made perfect sense in my mother tongue. It is only you English speaking folk who misunderstood it,” replied James. He loved reminding Sophia that she was not a true Scot, having been born in the north of England, even though she had been very young when her family had moved over the border.