It was that time of year again, and a typical equinoctial gale was on its way. Algy decided that he had had enough of being buffeted and thrown about by the wind, so this time he took cover at the foot of a strange cliff near the end of the beach. As he perched on a low ledge, with his back firmly against the sheltering wall of rock, he thought of a poem by Emily Dicikinson:

The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low —
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.

The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.

The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.

The birds put up the bars to nests,
The cattle fled to barns;
There came one drop of giant rain,
And then, as if the hands

That held the dams had parted hold,
The waters wrecked the sky,
But overlooked my father’s house,
Just quartering a tree.

[Algy is quoting a poem by the 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson.]

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