The Poetry of Food
Happy Childhood Days - Fishing!
Bob Ashtown 1951
In this extract from My Happy Childhood Days 1902 – 1912 Bob Ashtown gives us an insight into what it was like growing up on an estate in the early twentieth century. There is a glimpse of the wildlife and game that would have been caught and eaten in the big house.
‘We loved with milk-fed worms to go
And fish by lakes we loved to know,
Thrilled when our corks bobbed to and fro
As shoals of perch swam by!
And how a face lit up with glee
The day my father promised me
His gamekeeper would soon teach me
To shoot and cast a fly!
In time we all proved to be true
Young sportsmen ~ I already knew
The flights of many a bird that flew,
Where many a trout did lie!
As cartridge-boys, at woodcock shoots,
We learnt how guns – in homespun suits
And heavy hobnailed shooting boots,
Killed much that flew their way!
And though we could not shoot game,
We had much practice all the same-
At rabbits and when pigeons came
To roost in woods nearby.
I loved the troutstream that did flow
Past woodlands to deep pools below,
Where many a weighty trout did show
Throughout the month of May.