And then far, far away, from the heart of the forest, they heard a SOUND! At first so faint as to be hardly audible, but growing with each passing moment. Was it the song of some insect in the fern, the wind in the tree tops? Nearer it seemed to come, and then they knew it was pipe music, surely the loveliest music ever heard. It seemed not of this earth; yet in it was all the song of birds, of the wind passing over the meadow grasses and through slender reeds, the song of insects at the heat of noon, of trees in tumult, the voices of secret streams and broad rivers and of the eternal seas.
From The Little Grey Men by BB.
It was this hour by the dying firelight that the gnomes loved more than any other time. It was then they talked of so many things.
“Funny how a fire makes you want to stare and stare at it,” said Dodder reflectively, blowing out a cloud of tobacco smoke and watching the glow of the red fire’s core; “men are just the same, so the hobgoblins used to tell me. There was a hobgoblin in the old farmhouse which stood where Lucking’s farm now is. He told me they sit, just like we do, staring into the embers. Of course, it is understandable in man, because a fire is the only bit of wildness left in his house; his surroundings are artificial, but a fire makes him think of the days when he lived as we do, out in the open with nothing but caves and hollow trees to shield him from the weather.”
Excerpt from The Little Grey Men by BB.
The wonder of the world
The beauty and the power
The shapes of things,
Their colours, light and shades
These I saw,
Look ye also while life lasts.
Text from an old Cumbrian gravestone that prefaced all the books by Denys Watkins-Pitchford.