Story of the Day: Menor, God of the Mountains
The mountains along Frewyn's western boarder are named after Menor, The Fourth Son of Diras. Unlike his older brothers, he is a rather diffident God, preferring to perform miracles and visit his children in secret. He quietly defies Frannach, gets on well with Borras, and brooks Aoidhe's incessant japery with all the endurance that being a youngest brother can imply.
They cleared the field together, Baba picking up the stones and hurling them aside, and Aoidhe walking alongside her, replanting the bulbs she had planted along the border of the fields lately pulled out by a few wanton squirrels. She feared at first that Aoidhe would improve their looks by ‘doing hisGoddin’ business’ on them, and was prepared to reproach him by way of the cane she had left leaning on the side of the house, but he subdued his natural inclination to solve every difficulty by ‘puttin’ his share-end inna it’, and behaved while Baba Connridh was by. He could have cleared away the field with half a gesture and without a word, but he knew she valued labour, the accomplishment of one her age still looking after her farm, and he owned himself pleased to share in her achievement. He collected the pulled crocus and daffodil, tucked them back into the soil, and with a slight gesture, he commanded the earth to rise and rebury the bulbs.
“That there’s cheatin’, so it is,” Baba humphed, with disapprobation.
“Not cheatin’ if I don’t got anyone competin’ against me,” Aoidhe rejoined. “Menor ain’t here to tell me what about doin’ his job. You asked for my help, and this here’s helpin’. Just doin’ it the way Gods do. With Goddin’.”
He waved his hand surreptitiously, a bulb sank into the ground, and Baba glared at Aoidhe, one eye tapered and twitching, and the other fervently fixed his subrisive features.
“What’s all this here glarin’?” said Aoidhe, laughing. “Actin’ like I throttled the cat. You cut yer eyes anymore at me, and you’ll blind yerself from the squintin’.”
“You here to herd me?” Baba asked, raising a crooked finger to his nose.
Aoidhe lifted his hat and scratched his hair. “You don’t got what to be herded. Besides, Borras and Suibhne do all the herdin’. I like leavin’ animals to ‘emselves.”
“You here to guide me to the other side?” Baba explained. “That why yer visitin’?”
“Naw, can’t be arsed to do the Aul’ Man’s job,” said Aoidhe carelessly. “I let him do that. Only thing he does do these days, ‘sides tellin’ me not to hit Frannach.” He waved his hand, and another bulb planted itself into the ground. “Don’t got time to take you over anyhow. It’s a long way from here to the other place, and you gotta walk it first time you go. Gotta be registered with the Aul’ Man and all, so he knows who’s goin’ and comin’. Too much writin’ and rememberin’ for me. I don’t do none o’ the administrin’. I just came to see how yer doin’.”
“Fah, get along with yerself!” Baba rapsed. “If yer not here to carry me aff, yer here for the rashers.”
Aoidhe looked coy. “Can’t say I didn’t hope I’d get one. Really came for the farl though.”
“Yer not gettin' a meal outta me unless yer useful. Big strappin’ ox like you. Well, you want yer dinner, you’ll work for it, don’t care who or what you are. I’ll get the piggin, you’ll get to milkin'.”
The southern field now being tolerably cleared away and all the border bulbs replanted, they returned to the house, where the cat was hunting after a vole in the garden. Baba went to the small shed near the dairy, to fetch the piggin and see whether the cheeses wanted turning, when a gale suddenly drifted over the farm. The wind fled and settled into a softer quarter, a sobering sensation settled over the southern field, and a quietness pervaded the landscape.
Baba paused and sighed. “Here comes the other one…” she muttered, crambling toward the dairy, rolling her eyes, and as she disappeared into the small shed, a large shadow presided over the house. It sailed like a passing cloud, gliding across the garden until it reached the end of the house. It stopped and turned, and out from the caliginous patch rose a large boulder. It shook and turned, forming arms and legs, moulding into mountainous man, its shape thick, its head round, its features amiable and disquieted. Blue eyes, the same cerulean belonging to Aoidhe, appeared from a jutting brow, verdant moss coated his head, a mist shrouded his shoulders, his carriage capped with a thin layer of snow. He groaned into existence, his arms and legs grinding together as he moved, and the cat came instantly to greet him, climbing his crags and leaping into the crook in his bent arm.
“Hmm,” he thrummed, the earth trembling in answer to his sonorous drone. “I too am pleased to see you.”
The cat nuzzled him and leapt down, more interested in a sudden movement in the garden than it was in being caressed, and he watched the cat go, leaping over a familiar pair of feet on its way. His eye followed the bodily line, marking the overalls and pipe of one who had been used to cavil at his reticent character and general reserve, and he heaved a heavy sigh, feeling that his visit was as ill-timed as it was certain to be excruciating.
“Aoidhe,” he bellowed, the ground rumbling under his feet.
Aoidhe was all cheerful obligingness. “Menor,” he declared, slapping his brother’s back with a fulminant clap, the sound of which caromed across the fields and carried along the main road. “Just think’ ‘bout you.”
“Mmm,” Menor moaned, unimpressed.
“Ah, go’wan, you know yer gaggin’ to see me.”
Menor gave a disenchanted look toward the corner of the house and made no answer.
“Sure can hardly hold yerself. I see you tryin’ not to smile.”Aoidhe pointed to a slight natural curl in the corner of his brother’s mouth, and Menor, desperately wishing to be gone, sighed and seemed disquieted, the snow from his withering peaks drifting to the ground. Upon the whole, Menor liked his older brothers: he had his favourite, and Aoidhe, though amiable and well-meaning, was not nearly as considerate and conscientious as Borras. Frannach’s audacity and his tendency to think too well of himself when he did nothing for their children but preside over squabbles and cause a few himself vexed Menor exceedingly, and Menor’s quiet defiance, his disliking of his eldest brother and his refuting his impetuosity was what he secretly connived at. Aoidhe attracted attention by being open with his insubordination, but Menor preferred to challenge the decree that their father made and eldest brother enforced: he regularly answered prayers and paid personal visits, following Borras’ less clandestine example, looking after their children and assisting them without unnatural interference, betraying nothing to each other of their equal imposition. To Aoidhe, Menor stayed in his mountains and sulked, mourning over the loss of Gallia and the break up of their ancient family, preferring to loom over the Frewyn border from his perch, looking in on the Brigade from time to time, and wandering the summit line, pining over his Creations and lamenting his solitude, having as little desire to share in them with a partner as he did the need for daily interaction. This is what Aoidhe believed, and Menor was at no trouble to correct him