There is something about a stream which brings out the child in me, particularly when the stream runs through woodland and the water is not too deep. That is true of our beck as it goes through the plantain at the moment - it is quite low and makes a pleasant, trickling sound. It is so clear that you can see the cream, orange and brown pebbles which line the bottom - and, if you know where to look, the odd little trout facing into the current and waving his tail to keep his position in the water. The marsh marigolds are out along the beck margin and here and there the lesser celandines prick the new grass with tiny golden stars. In the wood itself the daffodils are well out and the snowdrops are finished.
It is at this time of the year that I am reminded of all things "fairyland." At school we learned a poem - I can only remember a bit of it but i am sure there is a blogger out there somewhere who will fill me in:-### "Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren't go a hunting, For fear of little men, Wee folk, good folk, trooping all together, Green jacket, red cap and white owl's feather."### Oh! how I wanted those "little men" to be real. And then when I discovered BB's "Little Grey Men" and "Down the Bright Stream" and - eventually Tolkein's "The Hobbit" and got to know Bilbo Baggins - then these little streams promised real magic, if only you could see it.
Today the beck was really in magic mode as Tess and I walked along it - our first walk this week as we have had a visitor staying.
I came across a little bend in the beck with a tree root shutting it off from the main stream, and i decided that - if there were any little men - that is where they would launch their boat. It would be fashioned out of a paint tin lid, painted green to match the grassy banks, and the little men would launch it and go off on an adventure down the beck, into the river and out into the North Sea - their little tin lid boat bobbing merrily along on the waves.
I seem to be fighting off some kind of bug at the moment - feeling in that mid-way point between ill and well - having half a cold and half a headache - so blame all this musing on a slight temperature. But i shall continue to half-believe in the little men who come out at night after we have all gone to bed and have fantastic adventures in their own miniature world - and if I ever find a paint tin lid floating down the beck then I shall know it to be true!
### As I predicted - a blogging friend has supplied the poem and the poet . The poem is called "The Fairies" and is by William Allingham. I have just read it in its entirety on Google. Thanks to Rowan for supplying the information.