For a time I lived with peacocks; and red-bellied snakes who loved to sun themselves by the wood pile. Also deer would come in the night and in the rutting season it would sound like a momentous calamity was arranging itself in the darkness outside the house. There was a wishing well and an upstairs loft where sometimes we would pretend she is my slave. A short walk to the seaside or the ferry that crossed the bay to the train terminus of the biggest city we could find. Behind us the national park and we could walk through the scrub to isolated beaches where little huts had been built a hundred years before by fisher-folk and now were attended to by the National Trust. The bush-fires in the park would scare us and one summer we could only drive away. There was a man who would not stop talking and was offended when I asked him to not smoke his cigar in my lounge room. He insisted I must have led a sheltered life to be affronted by a simple thing like a cigar. A couple came to stay with us, the woman was someone I had once known so well, and we danced to the beats we used to thrill to, and nothing felt the same as it had. One morning we drove away from there and life went on in other places and I assume the peacocks still call out their love songs and the snakes scare people who suddenly find them silently watching on the way.
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