Forest Mice With Grey, Round Bellies

A side road trip to the mountain valley of my childhood. Grey, old, looming mountains, serene meadows. Leather brown faces, gnarled hands, a wrinkled toothless smile.  A little sandy field with a crop so meager, I almost begin to cry. A gaunt man in dark blue rubber boots pushing a wheelbarrow full of manure. I know him. He was a boy, when I was a forest-roaming girl with pigtails and a dog to watch over me on my solitary expeditions. I would search for snails with beautiful pearly white houses all over the valley and then bring them all home, to my grandparents’ house and place them in a little stone enclosure I had made for them, just to inevitably find them all gone the next morning.

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A picnic. Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes, picked early in the morning when they were still cool and fresh. Home baked bread of many flours and seeds: kamut, hemp, flax, millet, oat, buckwheat and spelt flour, pepita seeds, sunflower seeds and flax. Wild strawberries for dessert.

In the late afternoon the beautiful brown-white cows begin their slow, patient walk home. Enraptured I listen to their bells – a sound inextricably linked to this place, running like a peaceful river through my tomboy childhood, my happy adolescence and illness-stricken adulthood.

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Before we wend our way back home, I find some old biscotti in my granny’s drawer. In the woods behind the house, I make a little winding crumb trail, a little feast for the forest mice with grey, round bellies.

Happy summer days.

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6 Responses to Forest Mice With Grey, Round Bellies

  1. Sabina says:

    Tanja, morate ponovit!!! Vsak pobeg tja bo na nek nain isti, a hkrati edinstven in neponovljiv…
    Sončkast pozdravek!

  2. janez says:

    O travnikih, gorah ne bom, bom pa o kravah-tako lepih že nisem videll, da ne pomnim!Pašnik razkošen in božice sploh ne trpijo, ker se jim vime niti slučajno ne vleče po tleh🙂

  3. Flora says:

    Tanči, kako si to nepopisno lepo opisala. Sem dobila kar solzne oči. Si bila v K.?

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