It was morning in the green acres of the Jarvis valley, and Mr Owen was picking the weeds from the edges of his garden path. A great wind pulled at his beard, the vegetable world roared under his feet. A rook had lost itself in the sky, and was making a noise to its mate; but the mate never came, and the rook flew into the west with a woe in its beak. Mr Owen, who had stood up to ease his shoulders and look at the sky, observed how dark the wings beat against the red sun. In her draughty kitchen Mrs Owen grieved over the soup. Once, in past days, the valley had housed the cattle alone; the farm-boys came down from the hills to holla at the cattle and to drive them to be milked; but no stranger set foot in the valley. Mr Owen, walking lonely through the country, had come upon it at the end of a late summer evening when the cattle were lying down still, and the stream that divided it was speaking over the pebbles. Here, thought Mr Owen, I will build a small house with one storey, in the middle of the valley, set around by a garden. And, remembering clearly the way he had come along the winding hills, he returned to his village and the questions of Mrs Owen. So it came about that a house with one storey was built in the green fields; a garden was dug and planted, and a low fence put up around the garden to keep the cows from the vegetables.
That was early in the year. Now summer and autumn had gone over; the garden had blossomed and died; there was frost at the weeds. Mr Owen bent down again, tidying the path, while the wind blew back the heads of the