Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Lakeland

A blur of blue and white, the two children in their very best clothes ran down to the shoreline.
There, they picked out stones and pebbles, the flattest ones all the better for skimming the furthest.
The two siblings, Rose and Chester battled furiously. Each strained to flick their arms quicker, harder, stronger than the other.
Chester caught a good one. Two, three, four, five, six. His broken piece of slate hopped the small waves breaking on the lakeside and whizzed on like a rotor blade toward the horizon.
Rose managed just a couple of small leaps before her stone sploshed into the clear shallows at the side of Derwent Water.
Chester was buoyed by his skimming success. “Maybe I can hit one of the boats out in the middle?” he cried, jumping with excitement.
Rose turned and walked to the grass bank at the edge of the small pebbled beach. She plonked herself down and looked up at the afternoon sky, scudded with cirrus, scraping the day clean.
“How long will mummy be?” she asked Chester, with the hint of a whine. “I’m bored already.”
Her older brother let out a brisk ‘tsk’ noise. “She said to play out for an hour or so,” he replied. “Come and throw some more stones.”
Chester was trusting of his mother, and happy to play out at the lakeside and in the nearby woods until the sun began to make its first dip beyond the Cumbrian hills. But Rose was not an child spirited by the idea of adventures into the hills, climbing the tall trees or swimming in the lake, come summer. She sought the comfort of her favourite chair, her books and her bedroom.
“I’m going to the meadow to pick flowers,” Rose said with a sniff, turned her back on her brother and began to march in the direction of the wild unkempt grasses growing to the side of Lakeland Estate.
She knelt and the long plants bowed under her weight, protecting her knees from the wet ground. It had rained earlier and the spring leaves were dappled-down with sunlit dew. Rose watched one of these leaves for five minutes, until she witnessed one of the water droplets successfully detaching itself and falling into the thick undergrowth below.
Nature fascinated her. She loved to collect frogspawn and watch the tadpoles grow. She would stare from her bedroom window with wide-eyed fascination as lightning flashed across the lake during a summer storm, while poor old Chester quivered beneath his covers.
She liked to look at it, but she hadn’t learned to love it yet. She grew quickly tired of being outside, she was cold and bored now. It was time to head home.

...to be continued...

2 comments:

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