...and there it was, in the early morning murk; the bird. It's song had been battering the silence of the misty hills for about an hour already, despite the darkness. Now, though, the merest hint of dawn.
Another bird. Two. Many. The first had raised the rest. Did it get the worm? Did it even eat worms? Maybe it was more of a berry and seed eater. In this gloom, it was difficult to make out what type of bird it was. It simply looked black, as did the bigger birds above it. Those were easy to identify though. Seagulls are something of an unmistakable bird.
Willa blinked. Dawn was certainly cracking - her watch read 06:54 - but no way could she read anything in this light (other than the digital display of the watch). No point thinking of picking up the book, then.
It was dank, yet not exactly cold, outside the tent. Willa lay on her tummy, snug in the sleeping bag, beanie on head, peering out through the unzipped entry. She could light up the little stove and boil the kettle, she supposed; but it would destroy this moment. There was a hush over the land, despite the call of the birds. The wet, heavy mist, typical of these regions, drip-drip-dripped from branches and grasses; some of it onto the tent, giving a tapping sound rather than the soft splats on the earth. It was not difficult to think that she could hear the worms beneath the grasses, shifting in the dirt - or was that a field mouse or beetle..? Willa moved her eyes only, not her head, to the left.
A hare! She stopped herself from cooing in glee, not to startle it. Nibble-nibble, check around, nibble-nibble, preen… then it's eye caught hers and there was the longest moment between them. Who would move first?
Pause. Nibble-nibble, check the tent, nibble-nibble…
Willa grinned. She wondered if this is what Alice felt like. "But if a fellow in a top hat appears now, I'll be on that smart phone quick-sticks!" With that vaguely alarming thought, she drew the zip down and surrendered to another hour's sleep.