Magazine article The Spectator

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Magazine article The Spectator

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Article excerpt

'Why aren't you in school then?' they'd ask -- as we ran to play,

or went roller-skating, or collected caterpillars -- or got started in

on the summer's work of dams, or of blowing up wasps' nests

(some carbide, some water -- throw a match, get out of the way)

or of building Messerschmidts. Our exams were done. It was June.

There were things we needed to do, and it was time to begin.

A pulsating aerial drone . . . We loooked up, and they were there:

Dakotas, with their Horsa gliders, three to each plane,

spaced out across the sky -- as black as bats

like the silhouettes in our thumb-grimed War in the Air.

They were locked in a strict formation, and heading south.

The invasion!!! . . . (and a reason not to be in school -- again.)

Or at home. …

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