(Nov 25th to Dec 1st)

Format: Triple

I made haste, the river aiding me, but ere I had touched the shoal, the pulse of the stream beat, as it were, within me and around, and, behold, the shoal was gone and I rode high on the crest of a wave that ran from bank to bank. Has the Sahib ever been cast into much water that fights and will not let a man use his limbs?


This is from “In Floodtime”, from Soldiers ThreeIn Black and White.

An old man, guardian of a ford, when the river if high and impassable, remembers a great flood inh the days of his youth, when he swam the river to seek out his loved one..

He took no count of time, for the river was marking the hours, inch by inch and foot by foot, along the embankment, and he listened, numb and hungry, to the straining of the stone-boats, the hollow thunder under the piers, and the hundred noises that make the full note of a flood.


This is from “The Bridge Builders”, in The Day’s Work. There is a flood on the Ganges, threatening to sweep away the great new bridge which is nearly complete. Will the ancient river destroy the work of the modern engineers ? In the end the bridge stands, though in the broad sweep of time this is only an episode, “the dirt digging in the dirt”.

The brook’s got up a piece since morning,’ said Jabez. ‘Sounds like’s if she was over Wickenden’s door-stones.’

Jesse listened, too. There was a growl in the brook’s roar as though she worried something hard.

‘Yes. She’s over Wickenden’s door-stones,’ he replied. ‘Now she’ll flood acrost Alder Bay an’ that’ll ease her.’


This is from “Friendly Brook” in A Diversity of Creatuires.

On a wet foggy November day two hedgers are working in a sodden Sussex field, listening to the swollen waters of the brook below. They reminisce over a dark old story, in which the brook had drowned a man who was blackmailing Jim Wickenden, to his eternal gratitude.