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Diedre picked up the bowl of meal that her husband had prepared and stepped out into the yard. She eyed the hens, wondering how she was supposed to feed them. Should she simply set the bowl on the ground? She chewed her lip as she tried to think like a chicken. “Yes…I would much prefer a dish so I would not eat dirt by mistake.” With that decided, she promptly set it down. The hens descended on her like a swarm of bees, wings flapping frantically as they attacked the bowl. She cried out in a panic as they proceeded to dump the contents all over the ground.
“You crazy birds! Look what you have done. Fine…eat dirt! See if I care.” Diedre spun toward the coop to gather the eggs. With that chore done, she returned to the hut cradling the fragile eggs in her skirt. She had almost reached the door when a hen darted between her feet causing her to let loose of her gown. She screeched in outrage as the eggs tumbled to the earth, exploding on contact. Well, so much for the eggs. She giggled.
She retrieved a bucket and filled it from the well. It was full when she started her trek to the door and she was dry. By the time she returned to her home, she was soaked and there was only a fourth of the water left.
“Oh bother!” She stomped her tiny foot in frustration. This was going to take all day! After two more attempts, she decided that she had enough water.
Diedre tapped her nail against her teeth as she tried to remember the rest of Lokai’s list. She brightened. Bread! I am supposed to bake bread. It cannot be too difficult. Women make it all the time.
She peered into several containers until she located the flour. She scooped out six handfuls into a bowl and placed it on the table. She stirred the mixture as she added water until it reached a lumpy texture. Dumping it on the table, she worked out the lumps with her fingers then placed it on the shelf above the hearth to bake.
Satisfied, she searched out a kettle and half-filled it with oats and water to prepare their porridge. Placing it on a metal bar, she swung it over the flames in the hearth. She began humming to herself as she cleaned the flour from her hands and table. Cooking is not so difficult after all. Will not Lokai be pleased?
Her next task was to empty the tub. It took more than an hour and three broken nails to accomplish that chore.
Lokai found her in the garden when he returned. Beside her was a large pile of weeds and vegetables all jumbled together. What in the world was she doing? He held his tongue as he watched from a distance. He soon realized that she did not know which was which. He decided to intervene before she plucked the garden clean.
“I see that you have been busy, Sprite.”
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