A delicious description of the days of mid-April, when the wild narcissus, known as ‘lent lilies’, bloom. We’ve had daffodils and tiny narcissi sunnying the garden for weeks, visited by early-buzzing bees.

Williamson’s account includes the intriguing mention of house training for badgers; you never knew they were so fastidious.  For more such surprising insights into the richness of animal life, see the WritingRedux review of this magical book.

‘Lent lilies – the wild daffodils of the woods and meads – clasped with their blooms, shrivelled and loving, the seeds of winter’s hope.  Already the celandines were old thoughts of the spring, their leaves hid by rising docks and nettles and flowering dog’s-foot mercury.  Badger cubs had been taught to use the latrines outside the tunnels.  It was mid-April, swallow-time in the West Country.’

Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F. Tunnicliffe (Harmondsworth: Puffin Books, 1976 (1927)), p. 132

Photo credit: gsimpson1964 at pixabay.com



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