Con Verse Lea; Chapter 79, Hastings 252

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 79:  Hastings 252
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Takano 81

Settling in the light of the fire over a cup of sassafras tea, Lauren contemplated what to do next.  The season was beginning to change; the nights were cooler, the fruit trees had ripened, and there was a subtle change in the color of the leaves.

Perhaps it was that which prompted her to try to make sassafras tea.  She’d long known that sassafras roots were good for such a beverage, but had never attempted it nor tasted it.  It was a bit bitter, and she wished she had sugar, but sugar was not something that grew wild around here, at least to her knowledge.  There were bees, but she wasn’t about to attempt to obtain wild honey from active hives.  She wondered whether knowing where the hives were would enable them to collect honey once the snows came, or whether bees remained active inside the hives through the cold.  Well, that was something she wouldn’t be able to test for a while.  Meanwhile, sassafras wasn’t too bitter, and it made for a suitable hot beverage to relax before bed.

She wondered whether she should gather a pot of sassafras before winter, and whether there was any way to keep it fresh--or indeed whether there was a way to dry them which would preserve the flavor.  On the other hand, the trees seemed to grow plentifully, so with a bit of effort she should be able to get more if she can recognize the bark.

It struck her that having sassafras for tea was a very small concern in the face of a coming winter.  She had managed a winter before, but there were only the two of them hunting so the scarcity of game wasn’t a severe problem.  She did not know how these people were going to survive until spring, and indeed until spring was far enough along that food would again be plentiful.

That, though, should not be her concern yet.  The time to worry about that would come.  She couldn’t prepare for winter.

Why not? she wondered.  After all, Joseph had Pharaoh prepare for the seven years of famine by stockpiling food during the seven years of plenty.  She should stockpile food for the winter.

Unfortunately, the only things she could stockpile were probably apples, which would keep for a while in the cold but not for all that long, and maybe pears, which seemed similar.  Peaches and plums had a shorter shelf life.  Nuts could be cached, but you would need a lot of nuts to be able to feed people.  She had no canning supplies, no refrigeration, no knowledge of salting or smoking techniques.  Storing food for the winter was not a promising option.

She wondered that she’d never learned about primitive food preservation techniques.  It was a gap in her knowledge that she should have filled.  She knew a great deal about fighting, about magic and miracles.  She knew how to hunt and fish, and build a shelter--there were many things she knew, but facing these new challenges she was discovering so much she didn’t know.  Unfortunately, there was no one to ask now.  She was going to have to find answers herself.

Well, she would pray about it.  God would know.

Next chapter:  Chapter 80:  Beam 155
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #472:  Versers Vanish.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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