Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Music boxes

Yesterday as time folded itself down into the twilight, neat and away, a golden wash lay across the sea and half the fields. Beasts grazed in the last of the sun and thought: "You know I am a lucky cow": unlucky cows preferred the grassy gloom of the departing day, said: "My life is skimmed. Soon it will be the knacker's yard for me." Cotton rompered babe in arms, I looked out beyond the glass to the shadows and the light. She looked too, said: "Night, night cows." Then turned away to the rocker and her bedtime books. I sat, rocked once, tipped her in to lie against my chest and said: "Listen, darling child."

I opened up the little leather box. The chiming tinkling rhyme rang out as the tiniest of ducks swam on the round about blue pond, chasing forever the two row, row, row the boats with their little painted trippers. "Shall we take out a row boat Maud and spend our plastic forever in it? It is sunny in this box even when they close the lid, though they do not know it, and somewhere in my pocket I have napkin wrapped sandwiches for lunch." My baby girl likes this song; sings it on my knee. I am teaching her to smile and persevere, though life be but a dream. The baby points at vain and circling Maud, holding a parasol above her head for fear of freckles; she is wishing she was there, small as her finger nail. I, however, am wondering if Maud knows there are crocodiles in the papered water and whether, if the lid came down, we would hear her scream.

10 comments:

sunshine said...

WITN - Tell Maud not to be afraid. The Bears in the Darkness will handily dispatch any wimpy little crocodiles!

Norman said...

A beautiful fairy-tale story....
.... with a gothic, Edgar Allen Poe twist at the end.
Funny how the fairy tales I was told as a child that I remember were by the brothers Grimm!

Jeff said...

When my #3 daughter was at the same age as yours, she called all animals "kitties". Cows were "moo kitties", and I can just imagine her in my arms at that age, saying, "Night, moo kitties". Now 28, she has three babes of her own to share such things with. Thanks for the walk down Remembry Lane...

merry weather said...

Lovely, lyrical and poetic writing today wifey.

What a beautiful way to snapshot the moment for your girl ... very poignant, it's perfect.

@themill said...

And are you still silently screaming?

Mid-lifer said...

I've been directed to your site by Mother At Large who says you deal with bullying in some of your posts(my own latest post reveals my struggle to deal with my child being bullied.

I never expected to be hit by such a lyrical and poetic post.

I too have been dragged hither and thither by my spouse, your site is a marvellous counterpoint to my diatribe... makes me almost want to go up north myself.

occasional northerner said...

My school motto was "Persevere in Hope". Underestimated quality I think.

Mike said...

what a lovely post. My favourite bit is "cotton rompered babe in arms", i can almost smell that lovely baby smell! Oh how i wish for those days again, and for the foresight to enjoy and cherish them even more than i did at the time!These are the moments that make the "psycho mum" moments ok.

phillip said...

Dear WITN, It is such a long time since I heard anyone use the word piddle, it makes me feel lovlily sentimental for my gran and her friends. Thanks.

Tina said...

I have found your site through other sites, and just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading it