by Fran Flett Hollinrake
The man is always careful with money, carries checks and balances in his head, is good with figures, remembers the cost of every favour granted. He had a wife, but she got ill and died and his daughter lives in a city, wears good shoes, drives an Audi and is a Success, although he does not know that she takes a lot of coke at weekends. He decides to get hens and having compared the cost of feed, potential yield and the relative longevity of various breeds, pays a man to build him a hen house. Every day he writes down the number of eggs, and so he can work out how much money he is saving compared to supermarket eggs, it is necessary to weigh and grade them – standard, large, extra large. One early morning his daughter phones, asking shakily for money, and he says no, you are an adult and responsible for yourself - I am disappointed, I thought I had taught you better. Out by the hen house he finds one egg already – a big one, nearly 3 ounces – which he notes in his book, breathing through his mouth, whilst in the city, his frightened daughter opens the door to a man in a suit.
Fran Flett Hollinrake lives and works in Orkney as a writer, storyteller, historian and tour guide. (Click here to make a donation to Fran, half of which will support 6S.)