We kept on with our silly childhood games long after we were much too old. Our copse provided the materials we needed and an undulant terrain in which to run and hide. In another world we might have grown up faster, but this was our strange, sylvan otherworld, so we did not. And that, after all, was why Daddy had moved us here. He wanted to keep us separate, in ourselves, apart from the world. He wished to give us a chance of living our own lives, he said.
- Fiona Mosley, Elmet
I can see now that the reason my mother was indifferent toward me is because she never bonded with me. She was too young, too sick in the days immediately after I was born, too scared and lonely and collapsed in on herself from her own pain and misery to see me. Sometimes when a baby is born in similar circumstances, she gives her mother a reason to keep going. This wasn’t true of me. Thank God I had my father.
- Karen Dionne, The Marsh King’s Daughter
He’d lay out a trail for me while I was off playing or exploring, and then it would be up to me to find it and follow it while my father walked beside me and showed me all the signs I’d missed. Other times we’d walk wherever our feet took us and he’d point out interesting things as we went along. Drifts of scat. A red squirrel’s distinctive tracks. The entrance to a wood rat’s den littered with feathers and owl pellets. My father would point to a pile of droppings and ask, “Opossum or porcupine?” It’s not easy to tell the difference.