Letters of Tagore

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Bolpur, 31st October 1894.

The first of the north winds has begun to blow to-day, shiveringly. It looks as if there had been a visitation of the tax-gatherer in the Amlaki groves, everything beside itself, sighing, trembling, withering. The tired impassiveness of the noonday sunshine, with its monotonous cooing of doves in the dense shade of the mango-tops, seems to overcast the drowsy watches of the day with a pang, as of some impending parting.

The ticking of the clock on my table, and the pattering of the squirrels which scamper in and out of my room, are in harmony with all other midday sounds.

It amuses me to watch these soft, grey and black striped, fiirry squirrels, with their bushy tails, their twinkling bead-like eyes, their gentle yet busily practical demeanour. Everything eatable has to be put away in the wire-gauze cupboard in the corner, safe from these greedy creatures. So, sniffing with an irrepressible eagerness, they come nosing round and round the cupboard, trying to find some hole for entrance. If any grain or crumb has been dropped outside they are sure to find it, and, taking it between their forepaws, nibble away with great industry, turning it over and over to adjust it to their mouths. At the least movement of mine up go their tails over their backs and off they run, 'only to stop short half-way, sit up on their tails on the door-mat, scratching their ears with their hind-paws, and then come back.

Thus little sounds continue all day long gnawing teeth, scampering feet, and the tinkling of the china on the shelves.

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This work is now in the public domain because it originates from India and its term of copyright has expired. According to The Indian Copyright Act, 1957, all documents enter the public domain after sixty years counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2016, prior to 1 January 1956) after the death of the author.