‘He peered out through the portholes at Creation
And saw the stars millions of miles away
And saw the future and the universe
Opening and opening
And kept on and slept and at last
Crashed on the moon awoke and crawled out.’
(Crow, Ted Hughes)
Early this morning on the downland by the woods, I watched the seventh of sixteen lambs born this spring hop to the meadow edge and encounter a crow picking mining bees from the soil. She squeaked a greeting to her corvid acquaintance and in return the crow, who was quite as big, looked bewildered. What should he say? To avoid awkwardness, he shuffled an inch and shook his sable wings. He wondered if the lamb could be moss, but decided moss can’t hop. Crow cocked his head and began to say ‘Ahoy!’, but before he could speak, a rabbit ambled into the rendezvous with some hesitancy. She had a grey face and speckled paws – Apologies, was she interrupting? Crow watched rabbit; rabbit watched lamb; lamb watched crow.
Who knows what secrets I may have overheard that morning? Alas, at that moment a kite looped a circle overhead and our breakfast club departed into the trees.