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Page 46

Wild Dorset

A CHANGE OF TUNE

O

Ellen Simon, Tamarisk Farm

n a recent brilliant sunny day, I was riding our pony Salix, at speed, up the committee fields to visit the cattle and sheep littered in the fields at the top of the farm; the phrase ‘in May, I sing all day’ came to mind. The road at the top of the hill and the sky above were quiet because we were already in ‘lockdown’. Maybe part of the reason these words came into my mind was that this silence matched the quiet days of my childhood. For me, the words are from a time when the world had less noise and the rhyme from which they derive is part of my primary-school lore: In April, I open my bill, In May, I sing all day In June, I change my tune, In July, away I fly, In August, go I must. It is about the cuckoo. A story of the year from the perspective of a bird, but it also describes what we hear. What the rhyme tells us about the call of the cuckoo matches what I observed as a child and the understanding I had then of the cuckoo’s life. I knew they began arriving from their summer haunts, south of the Sahara, sometime in mid-April, and you hear just a few calls. The onomatopoeic cuckoo call

46 | Bridport Times | May 2020

Profile for Sherborne Times

Bridport Times May 2020  

Featuring waxwork sculptor, Mike Wade + Community, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, G...

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Featuring waxwork sculptor, Mike Wade + Community, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Body & Mind, G...

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