This morning the earth is iron hard and sprinkled with frozen crystals from the moon. The sun, red as mouse blood, rises into a clear sky. We are fluffed up against the cold. Beneath our paws the leaves, made fragile by frost, crack and rustle.
We sit and listen. We can hear the song of early morning birds, the falling crank-croak of a raven, a pheasant's raucous bark across the field and a distant bell toll. We can hear the song of the ice and sleepy mice and the dry wings of jackdaws rattle in flight. A distant dog, a murmur of sea, the song of the morning.