A Letter to My Boys – May 1920

Dear Rogues.

I saw some boys the other day planting their cricket stumps and immediately your yells were brought to my mind. I nearly stopped and asked them “Where’s Binks? He is such a grand bowler.” Some very proper little boys touch their caps (or salute when their yellow heads are bared) when they meet their mothers or their aunts or their cousins but you always used to throw back your right leg, make a graceful sweep with the right arm to land an imaginary ball in my eye just to remind me what good cricketers you are. Do you remember how hard it was for me to be umpire as I wanted you both to win?

The other day I read in a newspaper that the green stain had crept to the top of the elm trees; that is far away in the south near to you for the cold winds up here make the little green leaves keep closed down tucked in their silk lined russet nest. But I thought of the beautiful elm in front of our bedroom windows and wondered if it had put on its spring dress of green lace.

I dreamed last night that we went for a walk round the decoy pond. Do you remember the beautiful bullrushes we gathered there last October. Well in my dream there were millions of primroses and bluebells and by the water’s edge a lovely spear grass growing up with pink tips.

We crept near to gather some of it when all of a sudden the heron which had been hidden behind a clump of last year’s reeds flew up with such a whirr that Binks jumped with fright and fell into the pond. We both jumped in after him for we couldn’t have gone home without dear Binks could we ? And something seemed to suck us right down. I kept a tighthold of a cricket belt round somebody’s waist and could just see the pink checks and yellow hair of Binks floating away in front of me.

It got darker and darker and I thought we would never get to the bottom of that pond —- something was drawing us away through an under-ground river. Then there was a great splutter and splashing and I saw the pair of you scrambling on to a platform and squeezing the water out of your hair.

Then you said, “Hello. Can’t you climb up? Here, we will give you a hand.” And one took each an arm and hauled me up —- cricketers have such strong arms —- on to the platform.

I know where you are, you shouted and at that moment we heard queer noises over head. The horrid rattling of a chain which made Binks think of ghosts and he began to cry. Then we looked up and a yellow light came down and down till we saw it was a candle. We shouted and somebody far, far up cried down in a small voice. “Hello you three down there. We thought there some something wrong with you at the pump. How are you going to get up?

Well, although it is 60 feet deep it was quite easy in a dream. We just floated up somehow and found tea ready. And now we could tell everybody what a true legend it is that there is a river from the bottom of the mere to the pump.

I want to ask you such a lot of questions about Dot and the white rabbit and the lambs but haven’t room for them to-day. Don’t grow too big before I see you again.

Your loving Playmate.

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