Around the fire we sat each night
Chairs pulled together nice and tight
Dad made sure the turf was in
Mom sat knitting with a happy grin.
From a ball of wool in a wellington
A sock grew longer as the night went on.
The sound of the latch and in comes Mick
Tapping the flags with his blackthorn stick.
We make some room for another chair
Widening the circle gathered there.
Soon the stories would be told
Each one more daring, dark and bold.
Just when we thought we could take no more
Someone would stamp on the stone flagged floor.
The “Panny” mugs with the milky tea
Calmed the nerves and helped us see
That twas all in fun, no need to fear
We were all family gathered here.
Soon cousin JohnJoe would lilt a reel
And we young children danced toe to heel
And Mick tapped the flags with his blackthorn stick
And Mom would raise the oil-lamp wick.
Thus we passed the winter nights
In semi darkness, no strong lights
And all too soon it was time for bed
But not until the prayers were said.
Mom tucked us up in our feather beds
With images of fairies in our heads.
We knew we were safe from hurt or harm
Cuddled up tight, all snug and warm.