Dying art

From a novel I am enjoying a lot, Esther Freud’s Mr Mac and Me:

But even so, as I sit turning my wheel, I watch Allard closely, the way he measures out the twine, chooses the thickness, binds it smooth and slippery and strong.  ‘If only you had a brother,’ he muses.  And I hang my head, and wonder that he hasn’t noticed there are other boys in the village.  And some of them with brothers, as many as three.  ‘The other boys,’ he shakes his head, as if he’s heard me, ‘they’re not cut out for this work.  They’re rough and fidgety, with no patience for listening.  It’s a dying art, the rope-making, and one reason it’s dying is that those that have the patience for it are dying out themselves.’  



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