It had rained all day, steady, inclining on a warm southwesterly breeze. 

 

Wisps of smoke, like Japanese brushwork, drifted through the trees and up the hillside.  A narcosis of roasted leaves, dilute but still potent at no more than five parts in every million. 

 

Jackdaws and rooks circled against the darkening grey clouds, calling light and dark, gathering more in the gloom, drifting north by east, searching for a roost.

 

A buzzard settled nearby on the low branch of an ancient oak; both of  us reluctant to take off. 

 

The rowdy boys met by the path for another stag night were spooked by my splashes and danced away on legs as spring laden as Nureyev, while their fairy girls on the hill trod a dainty arabesque between the trees.       

 

Then the lights came on in the big square house and it grew darker.  

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