were in tatters, even dirty and foul-smelling — an attempt on their owners' parts, perhaps, to demonstrate that they were in revolt against the bourgeois values of their parents. I myself felt a certain abhorrence for those furs, because they somehow brought into disrepute the forests of Siberia, Africa, the Himalayas, or the Andes. I realize now that my aversion had a deeper and more irrational basis. After all, I had been used to seeing the fur coat as a sign of noble effort. It had somehow been a challenge to the grey poverty of the Depression, a coat-of-arms in revolt against a system that gave victory to others, a bright spark that would turn, in the fullness of time, into the bonfire of the feminist movement. And here was a barbaric pelt on the backs of women who had come to college as a matter of course, rather than by personal effort and family sacrifice! I could feel no respect for such a thing. Twenty years later those furs too have completely disappeared and a generation has grown up which sees the fur coat as nothing more than proof of man's cruelty to animals. I have to confess that there remains in me a sneaking admiration for a garment that was such a part of my boyhood. And I keep in my memory the fragrance of those golden creatures who walked with their heads held high down the aisles of Bethesda. Alas, like the russet-red fox of Williams Parry4, their fate was to be, and then cease to be, 'like a shooting star'.
Taliesin (75, Hydref, 1991)
A street pavement isn't the most ideal place to hold a conversation, especially if it's early morning and everyone's in a hurry to get to the shop or bank or office. What happens is that people pass one another with only a curt greeting, more or less echoing each other, like this: 'Hello! — Hello!' 'How are things? — How are things?' 'How are you? — How are you, then?' 'Fine day! — Fine!' 'Rain again! — Yes, rain again!', and so on.
In the morning bustle there's time only for short, polite, throw-