Quite Early One Morning (And Other Memories)
Dylan Thomas tells stories of his childhood in Wales, piling on the sights and smells and sounds experienced by one rough-and-tumble Welsh lad with a miraculous sense of wonder.
.”If it could only just, if it could only just,” your lips said again and again as you scooped, in the hob-hot sand, dungeons, garages, torture-chambers, train tunnels, arsenals, hangars for zeppelins, witches’ kitchens, vampires’ parlours, smugglers’ cellars, trolls’ grog-shops, sewers, under the ponderous and cracking castle, “If it could only just be like this for ever and ever amen.” August Monday all over the earth, from Mumbles where the aunties grew like ladies on a seaside tree to brown, bear-hugging Henty-land and the turtled Ballantyne Islands.
“Could donkeys go on the ice?”
“Only if they got snowshoes.”
We snowshoed a meek, complaining donkey and galloped him off in the wake of the ten-foot-tall and Atlas-muscled Mounties, rifled and pemmicanned, who always, in the white Gold Rush wastes, got their black-oathed-and-bearded Man.
“Are there donkeys on desert islands?”
“What d’you mean, sort-of-donkeys?”
“Native donkeys. They hunt things on them!”
“Sort-of walruses and seals and things?”
“Donkeys can’t swim!”
These donkeys can. They swim like whales, they swim like anything, they swim like -“