“Do you know what that is?” inquired the big man, pointing towards something in the foothills.
For several moments, Tupper simply stared at Freydolf’s finger, wondering how sharp its claw was, but when the man repeated his question, the boy looked down. Far below, there were rows of what looked like drab stacks of hay. “No,” he answered honestly.
“That’s Hayward, your home town,” Freydolf explained. With a searching look, he added, “You won’t be able to see it once we go around this bend, so make your last look a good one.”
Was this really the last time he would see his home? Carden and Ewert had jobs, too, but they had home days. Tupper wouldn’t. As the Keeper’s servant, he would live on top of the mountain … maybe forever. Addy had said he’d be lucky to earn the Keeper’s gold, but Aggie had cried.
—excerpted from Galleries of Stone, Book 1: Meadowsweet
The Meadowsweets of Hayward. Like most Flox children, Tupper’s one of many. Big families are the norm in the rural communities that fill Morven’s foothills. Throughout the story, Tupper will refer to this brother and that sister, and it’s nearly impossible for outsiders to keep track of who’s who. But they’re his, and he’s theirs. And I made a list. ; )
Merona (“sheep”) is Tupper’s mother, and she’s a basket-weaver by trade. She and her late husband have eight children. Here are their names and ages at the beginning of the trilogy. For fun, I’m including what their names mean. I’m sure you’ll detect the running theme. ; )
Carden (from carding wool) – aged 20
Addy (“of God’s flock”) – aged 18
Ewert (“shepherd”) – aged 16
Edie (“flock”) – aged 14
Rachel (“ewe”) – aged 12
Tupper (“ram, male sheep”) – aged 10
Farley (“meadow of the sheep”) – aged 8
Aggie (“lamb”) – aged 6
• Mister Meadowsweet’s name was Hayward (“keeper of the hedged enclosure”)
• The Meadowsweets tend to white-blond hair and gray-green eyes
• Merona has golden hair and blue eyes
• The Meadowsweets are related to Old Gruff on Merona’s side of the family
• Carden has been married for nearly two years to Melina (“honey”)
• Both Addy and Edie live and work away from home (Edie in a different village)
• Both Carden and Ewert have jobs in the quarry on Morven’s southwestern slope
• Hayward is full of Meadowsweets (uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.)
Next Time: Rimbles