The beginning of this week was very cold, with a little fresh snow on top of the scattered masses of old snow still remaining from Christmas week. An inch or two like this makes a good medium for wildlife tracks, and there were plenty - mostly from squirrels, pigeons, and my cats, but occasionally others. The following piece is a practice essay I wrote yesterday on that subject in Welsh, followed by an English translation...
Fe ddaeth e’n ôl.
Bore ddoe, cyn y wawr, fe weles i’r olion ei draed yn yr eira newydd unnos. Traed mwy na thraed gath, leia na thraed ci, a gan ewinedd clir. Ci bach, efallai – ond does dim ci a neidioedd dros ffensys yn y nos fel gath. Fe ddilynes i ei olion. Fe neidioedd e’n gyntaf ar ben y “recycle bin” porffor ger y clwyd gefn, ac wedyn, yn ysgafn, i’r daear. Trwy’r ardd rewllyd aeth e, ac wedyn dros y ffens dde, ac i ffordd.
Ond y bore ‘ma, roedd mwy olion yn yr eira. Ym mherfedd y nos, heb ei weld ac heb ofn, ddaeth yr hên llwynog yn ôl.
He came back.
Yesterday morning, before dawn, I saw the marks of his feet in the new snow of one night. Feet larger than a cat's feet, smaller than a dog's feet, and with clear nails. A small dog, perhaps - but there is no dog that leaps over fences in the night like a cat. I followed his tracks. He jumped first to the top of the purple recycle bin by the back gate, and then lightly to the ground. Through the frosty yard he went, and then over the south fence, and away.
But this morning, there were more tracks in the snow. In the middle of the night, without being seen and without fear, the old fox came back.