|alice in wonderland|
Scent of wild strawberries. Grasshoppers performing arpeggios on the unripened wheat-husks of their legs. Sunflowers gazing down with undisguised curiosity in an acre of garden emboldened by handsome chestnut trees. Alice and I played there all day in the Summers. It was almost as much my home as hers. My father didn’t mind me being away for unusual stretches of time – as I wouldn’t be making a nuisance of myself in his vicinity.
Alice and I would often wander in Weyflood Woods. There was a small meadow a short walk through the trees across the River Weyflood. We imagined no one else knew that it was there. The Weyflood is called a river but it’s no more than a stream. We could jump it with ease at the age of 5. We’d sit in our mystery meadow wordlessly observing butterflies. There were an inordinate number of butterflies in the late 1950s: red admirals, purple emperors, green hairstreaks, peacocks, tortoiseshells, green fritillaries, painted ladies, cabbage whites, brimstones, meadow browns, swallowtails, small heaths, Adonis blues, and all kinds of skippers. An extravaganza surpassing the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album sleeve. We felt it cruel to try to catch them as they were too easily damaged. We found, if we sat still—and if we were absolutely quiet—they’d come near and flitter around us.
Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden will be published by Aro Books worldwide in 2011
Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage