The Farming Folk of King's Oak

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Life moves at a much slower pace at the Farm than at the Motel, with spring following winter, the days lengthening into summer and shortening again as autumn leaves fall, for nature takes its time and cannot be hurried.  But the farming folk of King's Oak still have problems to solve.  Incidents happy and sad, bringing laughter and sometimes a few tears, and many minor seasonal problems make up the working day of that oddly-matched farming duo, Benny and Ed.
Lately Ed has been in hospital suffering from a slipped disc.  He worried about how Benny was coping, although Diane managed to install a friendly housekeeper named Doris Luke to help out and make sure that there would not be absolute chaos in the kitchen when Ed returned.
His stay in hospital gave Ed a little time to reflect on his life.  Like Benny he loves the land and all he wants is to be allowed to make a decent living from the soil, and to be allowed to enjoy the quiet beauties of nature around him.  An honest and hard-working man, he is not too ambitious, and although grateful for help in the past from people like Hugh Mortimer, who was genuinely trying to help Ed make more use of his land, Ed resents the men who see land as a profitable asset and not as something which feeds man and beast and pleases the eye.  He is afraid that one day someone unscrupulous and far cleverer than himself will find some way of tricking him out of his land, and leaving both him and Benny homeless and without jobs.
Although this secret fear is always with him, Ed is more afraid for Benny's sake than for his own, for because of the way life has treated him, poor Benny cannot think as clearly or as quickly as others and he is far more trusting and much more easily hurt.
He is like a playful puppy, easger for friendship, and willing to accept teasing if it will make people like him.  He cannot understand that there are girls like Joie who, after teasing Benny and arousing his interest in her, makes him the butt of her unkind jokes and dubs him 'Barmy Benny'.


This Benny certainly is not, he is just slow, but he responds immediately to kindness and understanding, both of which he gets in full measure from Diane, Ed's niece from the Motel.  Diane treats Benny with compassion, affection and understanding.  She listens to his problems and tries to help him to solve them.
Benny found Diane a tower of strength when tragedy struck his life.  A family of gypsies named Flynn occasionally visited the Farm - indeed Seamus sometimes lends a hand - and Benny fell in love with Maureen, a really beautiful gypsy girl.  To everyone's amazement, Maureen agreed to marry Benny, but on the morning of the wedding she was killed cycling to see him to tell him something important.
Everyone expected poor Benny to go to pieces, but he reacted with a quiet dignity which impressed all his friends.  But none of them realised that Benny would always be tormented by wondering just why Maureen wanted to see him ... if she had intended calling off the wedding because she realised she did not love Benny enough.