This morning I stopped alongside a fence and listened to a horse grazing in the field. It was a beautiful sound, breathy and hollow with an echoing kind of chomp, punctuated now and then by the slight sound of the grinding of teeth. It was a lovely moment and I was transported back to some of the words of a favourite poem of mine, “The Listeners” by Walter de La Mare:
Is there anybody there? said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
I loved, and still love, the phrase – “The forest’s ferny floor” – I can go on saying it forever – “The forest’s ferny floor” – and I can hear his horse in the silence champing away at the grasses.
I put the leash on my little dog, Broddah, donned my jacket and cap and walked out into the crisp Spring air. The morning was bright, the sky blue and I could feel the spring in my step.
As I walked along the path with Bluebell hill before me, I could hear the birdsong coming from the trees – beautiful! Strange how the chirping and singing of birds has a kind of echoing sound in the countryside. I’ve never been able to understand this, but I love the sound. Like sunlight on water is to my eyes, so is birdsong to my ears. I also watched a grey stallion in the paddock to my left celebrating the morning by galloping around and proudly shaking his head and arching his neck, then, throwing himself onto his back and rolling around with glee. It was something to see.
I eventually got home and crowned it all with a cup of tea and two Rich Tea biscuits. Nothing like an early morning walk to start your day, especially with a little friend who enjoys it even more than you.