Eating Medieval: Gathering Mushrooms O!

"To make my mammy ketchup O!"

The Scene:


A monk in a gray robe stopped before Shawn. “You think she knows about military preparations?” came Niall’s voice in modern English.

Shawn strummed a chord, and murmured back, “Bruce told me to use my gift.”

“For information.”

The girl glanced at him again, and this time, gave him a fleeting smile.

“Judging by the come-hither looks over the shoulder, she knows plenty about the men around here, and half of them are military.” Shawn let his fingers drift over a simple melody he’d once known quite well on guitar. It sounded all right on a lute, he decided—at least on a lute tuned like a guitar. More or less.

“Do your job.”

“I could do it better if you’d get out of here. Having a monk hanging around is like having my grandmother in the back seat on a date.” He strummed another chord and added in a soft undertone, “Plan on meeting her tonight as Brom. I’ll be meeting someone else.”

Niall glided away.


Shawn began singing another song. Something about mushrooms. Gathering mushrooms. He sang it in English, played an interlude, and sang it again in modern Gaelic, all the time watching the girl. A man at arms approached her, leaning close, touching her arm. She laughed, leaning into him, and turned quickly, moving away to another stall. She glanced back over her shoulder at Shawn, and her eyes darted away again.

Book Three of The Blue Bells Chronicles

The Music:


The Lyrics:

Rising early out of bed
Across the fields I steered O

When O and I a woman I spied
And a pretty fair maid appeared O.

Her head was bare I do declare
She had neither hat nor feather on

And she stopped so low gave me to know
It was mushrooms she was gathering O.
O gathering O
and she stopped so low gave me to know
It was mushrooms she was gathering O.

Where are you going says my dear
Why are you up so early O

I've seen you on the dewy grass
Before the sower Ferdio.

Quite modestly she answered me
And she said I gathering mushrooms
To make my Mammy ketchup O.
O ketchup O
and she said I am gathering mushrooms
To make my Mammy ketchup O.

Her parting breast on mine she pressed
Her heart was like a feather O

And her lips on mine do gentle join
And we both sat down together O.
Together O
and her lips on mine do gentle join
And we both sat down together O.

Coming in the Next Few Days:

A medieval mushroom recipe, and an interview with Suzanne Wilson, author of the beloved and hilarious Misadventures of a Cat Named Blossom, recently released by Gabriel's Horn.

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