(September 13th to 19th)
…There were still hot hollows surrounded by wet rocks where he could hardly breathe for the heavy scents of the night-flowers, and the bloom along the creeper-buds; dark avenues where the moonlight lay in belts as regular as chequered marbles in a church aisle; thickets where the wet young growth stood breast-high about him and threw its arms round his waist; and hill-tops crowned with broken rock, where he leaped from stone to stone above the lairs of the frightened little foxes…
This is from “The Spring Running” in The Second Jungle Book.
It is Spring-time, ‘the time of New Talk’, when the fresh growth in the jungle comes with a rush. Mowgli is feeling a strange sense of unease and unhappiness, and he decides to make a running through the hot white night to the marshes of the north.
…The trees closing overhead made long tunnels through which the sunshine worked in blobs and patches. Down in the tunnels were bars of sand and gravel, old roots and trunks covered with moss or painted red by the irony water; foxgloves growing lean and pale towards the light; clumps of fern and thirsty shy flowers who could not live away from moistures and shade…The pools were joined to each other … by sheets of thin broken water that poured themselves chuckling round the darkness of the next bend…
This is from “Young Men at the Manor” in Puck of Pook’s Hill.
Dan and Una are fishing in the brook on a hot summer’s day. Soon – through the magic of Puck – they are to meet the first of the people who have lived in their valley in past years, Sir Richard Dalyngridge, a Norman knight who had come over with William the Conqueror.
‘…in the cool o’ the morning the cat-bird sings. He’s something to listen to. And there’s a smell of wild grape-vine growing in damp hollows which you drop into, after long rides in the heat, which is beyond compare for sweetness… Come sundown, the frogs strike up, and later on the fireflies dance in the corn. Oh me, the fireflies in the corn !’…
This is from “Brother Square-toes” in Rewards and Fairies.
Pharaoh Lee, fiddler, smuggler, and adventurer, is telling Dan and Una of good times in his youth, up country in Pennsylvania with the Seneca Indians in the days of the French Revolution. Philadelphia was full of French refugees, and hotheads were urging President Washington to make war on England.