Jennifer Manwaring, 14 Apr '13
The golden summer light had burnt away the morning mist and baked the dew soaked lane. Not a soul was about apart from a few butterflies that fluttered from bloom to bloom, drunk on the potent nectar from the tangled hedge roses that embraced the verge. The morning light shone through the translucent wings; staining the blushing petals with their jewel colours. The air was heavy with the heady perfume. Dust motes shone and danced in the summer breeze. The hours tripped by with the morning giving way to a gilded afternoon. As the sun shone at its brightest a rustle from the wheat field became audible; startling a grazing rabbit and sending it scampering to the safety of its warren. A boy emerged, his hair as golden as the wheat. He carried a basket in one hand, and a fishing line in the other. He paused to survey the scene and admired a patch of crimson poppies at his feet. The boy crossed the path, his leather sandals causing the dust motes to change their tempo. He crossed the stone bridge and stopped when he reached the middle. He rested his fishing line against the moss covered wall. After lifting his basket onto the wall he hoisted himself up and settled down next to it. He reached for his fishing line, affixed a tempting morsel of bacon onto the gleaming hook and cast off into the glistening, slow moving current. He settled the line into an obliging crevice and raised his face to the sky, revelling in the baking heat. A woodpecker began to peck in the large oak tree to the boy’s right. The boy returned from his revere and turned his attention to the wicker basket next to him. After removing the blue and white gingham cloth the boy retrieved a flask and a plate of cut sandwiches. He poured tea into a chipped china mug and began to eat his meal. The afternoon rolled by. No fish had caught the line but the boy spent the hours reading a battered leather bound book and trying to capture his idyllic setting with a pad and coloured drawing chalks. The afternoon had cooled into evening when the slack line grew taut. The boy grasped the rod and reeled in his catch. His prize was a beautiful river trout; lusty and vigorous. After wrapping the fish in the gingham cloth he picked up a large stone and once, twice, thrice, stuck the fish until it moved no more. He unwrapped it and admired the fading sunlight that glittered on the damp scales. The boy carefully lowered himself from the wall and packed his possessions into the basket. He turned and paused to regard the poppy studded fields and the rushing stream over the moss covered rocks. He picked up the basket. He crossed the bridge and walked down the lane, his catch suspended from the line over his shoulder and headed home; the dust motes glowing in the evening light, dancing after him.