John H. Brehaut
A young man’s agonizing decision to leave the family farm, the mysterious death of two healthy young men on the Northumberland Strait, a village paralyzed by fear during an epidemic and the shattering of an idyllic Christmas Eve by economic reality are four of the short stories con-tained in John Brehaut’s new book, From Time to Time an Egg.
Named for a suggestion in a succession/care document signed by Brehaut’s great grandfather, the book, published by Tangle Lane Press, includes over thirty stories, a mixture of fact and fiction, which touch on many characters and situations faced by Prince Edward Islanders over the years.
Canadians’ willingness to serve their country is covered in stories about the death of a soldier who was forced by his economic situation to go to war; about the death of a young man who lied about his age to join his three brothers in service; and the story of a widow making her first ever trip to her husband’s grave in Italy.
The non-fiction stories detail some Island characters ranging from The Honourable Daniel J MacDonald to Herby Beaton an itinerant traveller from southeastern PEI. The story of the Red Point Farmers, a champion tug-of-war team shares the pages with the story of a remarkable family of scholars who grew up in the Guernsey Cove area.
“The presence in the community of a character like Herby was sure to inspire stories and anecdotes. One young man was taking a shortcut through the Caledonia cemetery on a dark, wet night and had no way of knowing that Herby had taken shelter behind a large tombstone. As he passed by, a voice out of the darkness proclaimed, “It’s a pretty cold night” causing him to get home with record speed…”
John Brehaut’s first book, Left Arm Missing, Left Leg Missing; Unfit for Service,” told the life story of Dan MacDonald. Brehaut is also a frequent contributor to RED magazine.