And Mary said, “Let’s go for a walk in the woods. I’ve never seen bluebells. Can we go to the stone seat?” And I said, “Yes.”
So we got into the van and drove to Abermawr and Leopard came too.
It was dark in the woods but the pathway was clear. Mary climbed trees.
“The bluebells are pretty,” Mary said. “The same colour as Leopard’s blue cat’s eyes.”
And I said, “Yes, they are.”
We came to the place where the stone seat is and Mary and Leopard sat for a while and listened to the birds and the sounds of the greenwood, twigs cracking, the buzzing of bees in the bluebells. Then on again along the path that is so familiar to the place where the trees reach out into the fields. On this side of the stream the windsong rolled through the treetops like the sounds of the sea.
Up above the leaf roof a mournful buzzard mewed and one flew beneath the leaf canopy. Wild bird. Beautiful.
At the gate Leopard was worried.
“What are those creatures?” he asked. “They’re only cows, ” said Mary. “They won’t hurt you.” And Bella walked close at our heels and the cows sat munching on the green, green grass.
Then we came to the sea and we sat for a while on the sea- smoothed stones and listened to the sea song, gentle sway of the water as it pulled and rolled on the pebbles.
“What are those holes in the sandy cliffs?” Mary asked. “They are the homes of the small birds that fly, chattering over the water. Sand Martins. Their homes were washed away in the winter when the storms hit the cliffs, so they have had to make new ones, tiny burrows that go up to a metre back into the sandy cliff. Inside each a nest with chicks. They fly over the valley collecting insects to feed to their young. They come every year. Summer birds.”
“How do you know that?” Mary asked. “I read it in a book,” I said.
Home on the other side of the valley where the air was all birdsong and the bluebells were thick, we walked past the iris, yellow flag flowers, tall in the marshes, past the twisted trees.
And I said, “Mary?” And Mary said, “Yes?” And I said, “How did you know about the bluebells and the stone seat?” And Mary said, “A bear told me.” And I said, “What bear?” And Mary said, “The small striped bear of Britain that lives in the bluebell woods.” And I said “Oh”.
( Coming soon…. Mary Bear and Leopard go to the circus)