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Milka escaped from the farmhouse without her mother seeing so she said and her brothers were out fishing so she persuaded Benedict to allow her to tag along behind (beside) him what about your mother? he asked o it will only be chores she wants doing Milka said they walked to the place where the peacocks were kept and stared through the wire at them the colourful cocks but dull as mud hens making their calls proudly walking
beautiful plumage she drew up close to Benedict her hand hovering near to his but not touching like a bird in mid flight waiting she talked of the dullness of the hens and brightness of the cocks he listened to her smelling the perfume she’d liberated from her mother’s bag he said he’d wanted a job on a farm nearby but he didn’t get it she put her arm under his and squeezed him close she was glad her brothers were fishing or they’d be with Benedict instead practising the judo or karate out back
at the farm she wanted him to hold her tight to draw her nearer than she was she’d put on the shorter dress when she saw him at the door asking her mother about her brothers earlier that morning and had rushed to dress to catch him up the road without her mother seeing her go they moved on from the peacock place and walked the road and crossed a field he touching her hand the sky blue and cloudless he silent she talking of seeing the latest Elvis film
wanting him to ask her out but he didn’t he climbed the style and through the woods by the small river and his hand holding hers she feeling his fingers on her skin his thumb rubbing the back of her hand and maybe she thought he’ll stop and kiss and hold but he didn’t he walked on through the woods breathing in the smell of flowers and water and air touched by birds and heat she wanting
a heaven but having firm earth beneath her feet.