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The dawn

All is still, except for the home comings of the night's predators and prey.

The rabbit hops slowly and lazily along the scramble of trails and paths and disappears into a hole in the rich peaty soil. The stoat, cross at being too slow, bites dust a fraction of a second later. It picks itself up and silently slinks back into it's lair. Old Snuff, the hedgehog passes by and, sniffing the wind, catches the scent of the stoat. He rolls up and stays for a while in this protected fashion before scurrying away.

The owl sees the harvest mouse as it returns to it's nest in the corn and swoops, scooping up the young mouse in it's claws. It gives a hoot of triumph and the baby mice in the nest freeze in terror as they wait for the meal that will never come.

The spider sits admiring the beauty of it's dew-studded web before moving on to eat the fly it caught yesterday.

A solitary black bird exclaims on seeing the sun as a thin sliver of gold appears above the hills. It looks down and sees the farm cat below and remembers how it had flown from the very same cat the night before.

One by one the other birds start the dawn chorus. The cockerel crows and the rats stir in the barn. The cows wake in the pasture and byre and the sheep bleat to hear the king of the fowl.

The sun is now half up and peeping over the hills at the cows and sheep. You can hear the cowbells ring as the farmer calls the cattle to be milked. His loud but gentle voice floats on the cold morning breeze as it floats over the dew covered corn, making it bow to the sun.

The farmer's wife opens the door and hobbles into the yard to collect eggs for breakfast. They are warm in her hands against the cold morning air. She crosses the yard and stops to listen as a rabbit squeals in a nearby copse as a fox claims it for his breakfast.

The birds have clamed and have set about finding breakfast.

The day has begun.



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Nat S Ford
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