Afoot In England, By W.H. Hudson

 -   Her tail is as much to her,
both as ornament and to express emotions, as a fan to any
flirtatious - Page 260
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Her Tail Is As Much To Her, Both As Ornament And To Express Emotions, As A Fan To Any Flirtatious Spanish Senora.

One always thinks of these dainty feathered creatures as females.

It would seem quite natural to call the wagtail "lady-bird," if that name had not been registered by a diminutive podgy tortoise-shaped black and red beetle.

So shallow is the wide stream in the village that a little girl of about seven came down from a cottage, and to cool her feet waded out into the middle, and there she stood for some minutes on a low flat stone, looking down on her own wavering image broken by a hundred hurrying wavelets and ripples. This small maidie, holding up her short, shabby frock with her wee hands, her bright brown hair falling over her face as she bent her head down and laughed to see her bare little legs and their flickering reflection beneath, made a pretty picture. Like the wagtails, she looked in harmony with her surroundings.

So many are the villages, towns, and places of interest seen, so many the adventures met with in this walk, starting with the baby streamlet beyond Simonsbath, and following it down to Exeter and Exmouth, that it would take half a volume to describe them, however briefly. Yet at the end I found that Exford had left the most vivid and lasting impression, and was remembered with most pleasure. It was more to me than Winsford, that fragrant, cool, grey and green village, the home of immemorial peace, second to no English village in beauty; with its hoary church tower, its great trees, its old stone, thatched cottages draped in ivy and vine, its soothing sound of running waters.

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