Having never even noticed the buds of the willow, this simile for softness and greyness struck me. How observant of Williamson to store this away as a description of otter’s fur. But then his whole book is an exercise in meticulous and painstaking observation of other creatures and species.
‘His fur was soft and grey as the buds of the willow before they open at Eastertide.’
See also Virginia Woolf’s simile: ‘as soft as…’
Source: Henry Williamson, Tarka the Otter: His joyful water-life and death in the two rivers, illus. C.F. Tunnicliffe (Harmondsworth: Puffin Books, 1976 (1927)), p. 22
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