The Diary of a Goose Girl
Thornycroft Farm seems to be the musical centre of the universe.
When I wake very early in the morning I lie in a drowsy sort of dream, trying to
disentangle, one from the other, the various bird notes, trills, coos, croons, chirps,
chirrups, and warbles. Suddenly there falls on the air a delicious, liquid, finished song; so
pure, so mellow, so joyous, that I go to the window and look out at the morning world,
half awakened, like myself.
There is I know not what charm in a window that does not push up, but opens its lattices
out into the greenness. And mine is like a little jewelled door, for the sun is shining from
behind the chimneys and lighting the tiny diamond panes with amber flashes.
A faint delicate haze lies over the meadow, and rising out of it, and soaring toward the
blue is the lark, flinging out that matchless matin song, so rich, so thrilling, so lavish! As
the blithe melody fades away, I hear the plaintive ballad-fragments of the robin on a
curtsying branch near my window; and there is always the liquid pipe of the thrush, who
must quaff a fairy goblet of dew between his songs, I should think, so fresh and eternally
young is his note.
There is another beautiful song that I follow whenever I hear it, straining my eyes to the
treetops, yet never finding a bird that I can identify as the singer. Can it be the -
With orange-tawny bill"?
He is called the poet-laureate of the primrose time, but I don't know whether he sings in
midsummer, and I have not seen him hereabouts. I must write and ask my dear Man of
the North. The Man of the North, I sometimes think, had a Fairy Grandmother who was a
robin; and perhaps she made a nest of fresh moss and put him in the green wood when he
was a wee bairnie, so that he waxed wise in bird-lore without knowing it. At all events,
describe to him the cock of a head, the glance of an eye, the tip-up of a tail, or the sheen
of a feather, and he will name you the bird. Near- sighted he is, too, the Man of the North,
but that is only for people.
The Square Baby and I have a new game.
I bought a doll's table and china tea-set in Buffington. We put it under an apple-tree in the
side garden, where the scarlet lightning grows so tall and the Madonna lilies stand so
white against the flaming background. We built a little fence around it, and every
afternoon at tea-time we sprinkle seeds and crumbs in the dishes, water in the tiny cups,