He broached the subject with his father, uncle and aunt later as they sat around the hearth trying to warm up after being out in the cold. The children slept, largely unaware of the night events other than that they had had to bunk down with the animals for a bit. When the subject was raised, it was aunt who answered. “You may say that now but wait until you have a family of your own. Before my family I too only thought about myself and what great things I would change. However with my family I realised that what was important to me suddenly had changed. My dreams of grandeur and being my own woman changed. My family were all that mattered, and their safety was paramount over all other.”
“But surely you would want to save another from such misery to lose their family” Ash questioned.
“Dear boy, you are but too young to understand the love and protection one feels towards a family of your own. To interfere with another is unbecoming and unnecessary. You will learn this all when you are a man and have your own family” Uncle calmly and indignantly explained.
“No, I think no matter I will be brave and defend those that need help”
“Bravery can be measured many different ways. Who are you to decide what is brave? What bravery have you accomplished in your life to define bravery? I have kept you and my family safe. If I had foolishly gone to defend poor John I could be dead, leaving my family without a man about the house … can you imagine the life that then would have become my family and you?”
Carel was about to object to not being considered a man by Uncle, however he stuttered before keeping quiet. Ash noted the gesture and wasn’t surprised that his father hadn’t objected. Did even Carel question his courage and strength, or was it simply that Carel hadn’t wanted to detract from Uncle’s statement.
Ash understood he had over stood the mark. He was too young to understand his uncles retort and exactly why his uncle was so angry with him now. All Ash knew was that he would not run, he would stand and fight, maybe.