13 APRIL 1956, Page 35

Country Life


THE world of early morning is a private, quiet place and one should walk gently and tread softly, saying little,' for one's footfalls disturb the peace and the voice carries, in- truding upon the talk in the rookery, the mur- murings of lovesick pigeons and the singing of birds too happy to notice that the dawn chorus is over. I walked uphill softly, wearing rubber boots, for I was off to fish again. There was mist across the valley and a glow in the east that was sunrise in a haze. I passed the last of the farms and looked at the curtained windows, for although there was activity in the shippon half the household was still abed. A tousled head parted the curtains and then, startled at seeing me there on the road, hastily withdrew. I felt I had no right to be where I was and went quietly on. The farmer's dog came and stalked forward to the ridge

sniff at my clothes as I passed. On dge

above the valley I paused. The first train of the day was coming fussily up-river on the single-line track. It whistled and somehow the shrill sound changed the scene. Day was up and the cock's crow old and I had to be by the water three or four miles away to see the trout rise, if rise they would.