Lucy and Todd

Molly Keane

In Stuff We Like on July 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm

‘At the age of eight, through an incorporate resilience, slighted confidence restores itself.  The life of a day is full of chance and sudden changes.  The hours of liberty are long, full of wonder and narrow escapes, precautions, hidden devices and daring.  There was the bull in the river field to be avoided, the idiot boy in the Gate Lodge to tease until his frenzies frightened her and she had to run.

Now there was her bantam hen to visit – that tame favourite who sat on her head when she walked into the drawing room, the admiration of all, whose food she sometimes nibbled at.  Only yesterday Nicandra had found the nine white eggs, distanced from the ordinary into magic by the wild nest her bantam had chosen to build in a broken flowerpot beneath a Ponticum rhododendron, well away from a wire compound, the night-time enclosure of the bantam flock.

Carefully and with love the nest full of eggs and the dozy hen sitting on them had been removed from the wild to a neat little coop in civilization and safety, every convenience for the hatching mother attended to with particular care.

… [The] path…skirted the domed conservatory where flowers were grown for the house: cactus, geraniums, gloxinia, palms, bird of paradise, passion-flower, maidenhair fern, all throve here in damp and forceful luxury. Best of all, her own and the gardener’s favourite, calceolaria, puff-jawed, tiger-striped and spotted, flowered each year more grossly perfect.’

From Loving and Giving

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