6:00 am Christmas morning. No sign of the PONs in the upstairs hall.
Nor the downstairs.
They have taken an executive decision to sleep in the kitchen and guard the turkey and mince pies. How's that for selfless devotion ? Bob does his best to pretend he's not just woken up .
No Silent Night for the owls who have spent their night chatting on the gutters outside the bedroom window. They head off with an irritated screech as the front door is opened. The owls circle, then settle on a branch of the plane tree on the other side of the lane. ‘ Come and see this ‘ I shout out to ‘The Font’ and so we start our Christmas morning standing in the doorway laughing at six round street lamp lit faces peering back at us.
Dogs and master head off along the ridge. That particular once a year Christmas silence undisturbed by the distant roar of aircraft or the sound of cars. The PONs roll on their backs in the frost. We pause to greet the donkeys in the field, the cows by the crossroads and the horses by the pond. Something ‘right’ about being with cattle, donkeys, horses and ( of course ) sheepdogs on Christmas day. All hint at our shared place in the cosmos. Gentle intimations of a world beyond agency and prediction.
Bob sits next to Angus on the storm drain and is told that this is his country. He's then told that this is a day when the angels of mans better nature are allowed take wing. A day when kings and wise men learn from poverty and innocence. Bob seems to like that thought and leans into me. Sophie heads off after something decidedly unChristmasy in the drainage ditch. For her solemn stillness and angels with harps of gold can wait. This morning there's a chance of finding a pre-breakfast dessicated vole .
So starts a Christmas morning in deepest, deepest France profonde.
A very merry Christmas to one and all from the two and four legged at The Rickety Old Farmhouse.