The Nightingale

 

The Nightingale

 

In a village we had to make our own humour, and very often we were caught with some-one making a hoax.

 I well remember a small cutting in the paper stating that a Nightingale was to be heard in Crymlin, near Skewen on many nights of the week, being only a couple of miles away from Pentrechwyth, we formed a party to walk up to hear him sing. Neither of us had ever heard a Nightingale sing. So we were thrilled to make the party to go up to Skewen to hear it. We had Tommy Rabbits in Charge had a meeting, and decided the best day would be Saturday as we did not have to work on Sunday. We left about ten o clock all jovial and singing our way up to Crymlin. We expected to see others there on the same outing, but were disappointed, after singing quietly for about two hours we never heard a sound. So we decided to go home, it was now after midnight and we took things easy, it was a beautiful night. So in a sense we enjoyed the trip. Every one we met on the Sunday kept asking how we got on, did we hear him, by this time everyone was talking about the nightingale, said we did not hear it, but intended going up again the following Saturday. Some people had now heard it on the other side of Skewen at Bryncoch, and we arranged to go, our party had now got much larger as a few more wanted to hear the bird. It was about two miles further this time. So we started off about the usual time and arrived at Skewen about Eleven thirty we made some enquiries with some men who were on the way home to Bryncoch after having a few pints in Skewen they had heard him every night, but not last night, they told us that there were to many people about singing and shouting and they believed it frightened the bird. But they liked our company and said they would shew us in a short cut to the place where he had been singing night after night. We thanked the men and went the short cut they shewed us, and told us it would bring us out on to the main road at the bottom of Neath Abbey. We wished them a cheery good morning as it was now not far off one oclock. Another beautiful night we kept following this short cut, a path way through fields after walking for about an hour, we could not see a way out to a main road, when Rabbits our leader stopped and said, we can’t go any further this way there is a farm, and I can hear dogs barking so we better go back. Whatever Rabbits said we all agreed, so we walked back, and was nearing Skewen when we saw a policeman, we asked him the best way to get to the main Rd. He said you are practically on it. He asked us where we had been, if we had heard the nightingale we told him the truth. He said if it is any consolation to you, you are only one of the thousands that have been dragged to Skewen, you will not hear any more of the Nightingale, we have nailed the culprit, who promised he would not imitate birds again.