James Rebanks, English Pastoral:

One morning as I was waiting by the church with the other boys and girls for the school bus, milling about, throwing stones and kicking pine cones, my grandfather walked towards us with his sheepdog and stick. He had taken some sheep to a field and was walking back to the farm. I knew he had seen me messing about. I didn’t want him to think me a fool like the others, so I stepped away from the crowd. Perhaps I also stepped away from them because I sensed what was coming, and didn’t want them to laugh at him behind his back afterwards. He stopped and asked what I was learning about at school. I told him we were supposed to be learning about the planets. He said he didn’t know much about planets, he only knew about the sun. Then he told me about how its arc over the village changed with the passing of the year. He stabbed at the skyline with his stick where it rises on the shortest day in December, pointing to the south-east. ‘There — it comes up there,’ he said. Then he used his stick to create small loops over his head to show the path of the sun on the short winter days, explaining its changing arc through the seasons. And, in my eyes, he had turned into some giant insect as he moved through the movements of the sun across our land. One after another, he made the arcs with his stick above his head. He wanted me to know how the sun passes over, and that it was a thing of great wonder. He wanted this day to include at least one useful lesson, before I wasted the rest of it in school.