Alan knew where he was now. He was walking on Beatrice ’s Way, a
raised swathe of land, which ran directly across the wasteland to the
almshouses and the road in which St. Mary’s Hall stood. It was an old green
lane used by the drovers, but he was amazed that it was still clear.
The girl’s voice, sweet and soft in the damp air led him forward in the
right direction, even when he couldn’t see more than a few yards ahead.
He sang now, without fear and with a sense of inner peace that he hadn’t
known since Mary was alive.
Two centuries before, Beatrice was farming the land… Daniel, her husband, was missing. Other people might say he was dead, or would never come home again, but she knew that he was alive…
The nights were the worst for her. In the day, she had the farm to run and the children to look after, but as she lay in their four poster bed, she would think about him and wonder where he was and what he was going through. She had a sixth sense and knew when he was in trouble.
Sometimes, she would slip downstairs and curl up in his armchair, just for the memory of him and other times, in summer, she would open the shutters and lean out of her window to smell the sweet honeysuckle and remember him. She wondered if the breeze that touched her ever touched him, and she would listen for the occasional nightingale and the soft beat of the owls’ wings as they flew along the hedgerows.
She heard the call of the night jar and if a farm wagon rolled past after dark, breaking the silence, the nightingales in the bottom meadow and the blackbirds around the farm would sing wonderfully in the stillness.
The swallows nested in the large barn and under the eaves of the
farmhouse and she thought, often, of Daniel seeing them on another
continent. Beatrice loved him deeply and longed for him.
Who cares if the allotments are to be built over?
Who cares if The wild places are destroyed? Find out here.
Who cares about the cats?…
Where The Fox Goes © J.R.Birch 2004