Back home in the castle

More beeches topped and lopped while I was gone, and oak limbs heartless, hollowed-out that lasted decades and so above endangered paths must go but yet it saddens me to see so many lofty homes were lost and that they couldn’t stay where they just fell and lay, but tidiness wins out in every way.

I suppose instead of bats or bees and ants a hedgehog might find rest and perhaps that’s best that quieter realms a stone’s-throw hence might work out better against a stone wall, a layered hedge or chestnut paling fence and so I watch the logs without yet little spiked hogs, hoglets, laying quietly side by side inside the hollow logs away from dogs and household cats, the badger and the canny fox.

In the castle, things I left in chests and cupboards stowed and laid behind thick walls of solid stone are there and here I sigh relief as pulling first one old friend from beside another then one more from rest inside and there my fingers lightly glide the contour of each shaped tote, hand-gripped each one with fondness firm and sensed inside what no one else knows or ever knew.

I tested each by fingertip for sharpness then the set within the throat and think how much I know my four and four-and-a-half, my five-and-a-half too—old Stanley planes bought two score and ten years now when yellow-boxed and new.

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