The life of the day
begins at dawn, or if the moon has shown until daylight, the
shouts of the young men may be heard before dawn from the hillside.
Uneasy in the night, populous with ghosts, they shout lustily
to one another as they hasten with their work. As the dawn begins
to fall among the soft brown roofs and the slender palm trees
stand out against a colourless, gleaming sea, lovers slip home
from the trysts beneath the palm trees or in the shadow of beached
canoes, that the light may find each sleeper in his appointed
place. Cocks crow, negligently, and a shrill voiced bird cries
from beneath the breadfruit trees. The insistent roar of the
reef seems muted to an undertone for the sounds of a waking village.
Babies cry, a few short wales before sleepy mothers give them
the breast. Restless little children roll out of their sheets
and wander drowsily to the beach to freshen their faces in the
sea. Boys, bent upon an early fishing, start collecting their
tackle and go to rouse their more laggard companions. Fires are
lit, here and there, the white smoke hardly visible against the
dawn. The whole village, sheeted and frowsy, stirs, rubs its
eyes, and stumbles toward the beach.