Courage takes many forms. One of my readers, Fern Martin said, “For me courage is facing someone or something straight on, even when you want to throw up instead.”
I think that is a brilliant description, because it makes each act of courage very personal. Something that it takes courage for me to do, might be absolutely simple for someone else and vice versa. I have flown all over the world and step on a plane without a single concern. One of my dearest friends hates flying. Recently she was offered a promotion which would require her to travel frequently. She wrestled with whether or not to take the job because of her fear. She did accept the promotion and in my opinion, it took great courage to do so. She is still afraid of flying, but she didn’t let that fear get in the way of a great opportunity.
Those of you who have read Highland Solution, have met the MacIan guardsman named Turcuil. Turcuil is described in the following scene:
“Next is Turcuil,” said Fingal. Huge didn’t begin to describe Turcuil. Katherine suspected people believed in giants because of men like Turcuil. At least a head taller than and half again as wide as Niall, he had to be the biggest man she had ever seen. His size, coupled with his black bushy hair and beard, gave him a fearsome appearance.
Fingal’s eyes twinkled with mischief as he continued to introduce the giant. “Ye mustn’t tell anyone, but ye should be warned because once we get to Duncurra, ye are bound to notice,” said Fingal, glancing around as if checking for eavesdroppers. “Turcuil is a changling.” Confused, Katherine cocked her head to one side.
“Oh, aye, he is,” Niall said dryly.
Deciding to play along, Katherine asked “What, pray tell, does he change into?”
“A lovesick swain,” answered Niall, and the men chuckled.
“Ye see,” said Fingal, “Turcuil is rather fond of Edna, who is in charge of the staff at the keep. Edna is a widow and most of us think she has a soft spot for Turcuil, too, although it’s hard to know why.” This elicited more chuckles. “The problem is whenever Turcuil is near Edna, he forgets how to form words, so he has never actually done more than grunt at her. It is no wonder she doesn’t know of his affection.”
One would think a man like Turcuil would be the epitome of courage and I suppose if the only definition of courage was being able to fearlessly ride into battle, he might be. However, the thing that Turcuil must summon his courage to do, the thing he must face straight on (even though he might want to throw up instead) is not a sword wielding warrior; it is a tiny powerhouse of a woman.
It will take him a while but I think we will see more of Turcuil and Edna in book three, Highland Intrigue.