Morning Serial; Voices of the Children.
On our way down through the streets two women stopped their gossiping and turned with folded arms to look at us. They stared at us as if we were the front part of a travelling circus. One of the women called out: "There's big she is! Is she calving, boy? Any chance of a bit of veal later on, now?" I shook my head; and Arthur too - which was unusual - didn't have words to lay his tongue to.
We took her down for Tom to milk her, but she was so bloated that she could hardly get in through the stable door. As soon as we had fastened the chain around her neck she started to munch some hay that had been left in her manger..
Tom came out and we told him what had happened and he grinned when he saw the cow: "She made a meal of it, by the look of her.
Poor old Thomas! He was proud of his cabbages. It would spoil his holidays if he knew." Tom went into the shop and brought father out. He looked serious and said a few sharp words about keeping the fence in proper repair. Mr Thomas, the teacher was a good customer and couldn't be offended. Father asked: "When does Mr Thomas come back? "Mrs Thomas is sending a card a day or two before they're due.
"Remind me, Tom. I'll go up and see him myself." After Father had gone, the news got to the house and Nipper came out, and then mother. She talked to the cow and scolded her for getting into trouble.
But the cow looked round in her mild way, chewing the cud all the time, her conscience as white as the milk she would soon be giving in the pail.
By the next morning the stir caused by the cow's wanderings had diminished, like her girth, but
Arthur and I were just at the beginning of the sequel. First of all there was the gap in Thomas' garden to be closed up, and then the hedge of the Bottom Field to be seen to; the breach to be filled in, and the other weak places to be strengthened.
We had a good pair of hedging gloves, and mending the hedge was a new and interesting job.
We had plenty of barbed wire and all the tools to dig a hole to drive a post in.
We spent the whole day doing the job, taking some lunch down
Voices of the Children by George Ewart Evans is part of the Library of Wales series published by Parthian. For more information on the series visit www.libraryofwales.org. To buy your copy visit www.gwales.com in a small bag. Everything seemed to be ending happily, at least for us.
Mr Thomas had not returned from Cardigan yet. When he did return father went up straightway to see him.