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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 I ran into the scullery and scalded the pail with hot water; there was no black patch in the enamel as I expected, but as I lifted it up to replace it on the shelf I heard the cracking still going on inside like an echo.

When I returned, everything in the stall was quiet: Daisy was eating the mangels and Nipper was leaning against the partition of the stalls, and there was no sign of the struggle. Tom came in very soon afterwards, whistling as usual. He was very tall and had a red face and could lift Nipper up into the loft with one arm.

He looked into the stall and his eye caught Nipper's and he asked: ' What have you lads been up to?' Nipper thrust his hands more deeply into his pockets and looked at me with a grin, but I said quickly to Tom: ' You're a bit late tonight, Tom. We'll unharness the horse and feed him while you're milking, if you like.' s Nipper was still grinning and Tom caught him by the collar and the seat of the pants and lifted him on to the cow's back.

He said, 'Dere fuwch' in a deep voice and the cow never even flicked her tail.

'Righto, see to the horse.

And you can take the boxes out of the cart; we'll be finished in no time. Get the pail first, Nipper.' He lifted him down and in half a minute the milk was flowing in a white stream into the pail. We watched a while, fascinated as we listened to the steady swish of the flow. Nipper looked at me and said in a whisper: 'See how it's done?' Tom heard him and turned his head slightly and a certain look came into his eyes. Then with a turn of the wrist he sent a thin fountain of milk pencilling towards us; but we had both seen the look before: we ducked, while the milk made a pattern on the half-door behind us.

When we had stalled the horse and fed him and laid down the bedding of crinkly bracken, we went in to see Tom's bucket of milk standing covered with fine thin gauze.

'Not so much as usual,' he said while we looked at it. Then Nipper laughed again, and Tom grabbed him as he tried to back away: 'C'mon, out with it.

What have you been up to?' Nipper said, 'Nothing, nothing!' But before the evening was out we told Tom what had happened and he said: 'Well, you're a handy pair, but there's no harm done. I'll teach you to milk, the both of you.' Continues on Monday
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 11, 2009
Words:484
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