The Cock’s step on the dunkill

My mother, myself and my youngest son were discussing the very slight change in the length of day today. I was saying I better go home soon to lock the hens in though I noticed it was nearly five before they went in yesterday and my mother said:

 “From the 1st of January you notice a change of a cock’s step on the dunkill.”

I laughed and said “I don’t remember you saying that one before” which surprised her as she says she often. said it and heard it lots. She remembers her parents saying it.

“What’s a dunkill?” says my lad.”Well it’s dung hill really” says she but we always say the saying as “dunkill”. “The cock’s step on the dunkill.”It has a nicer ring to it no doubt, more poetic. I thought.

She remembers as a child being told that was how they measured the day getting longer. She asked could they measure it and was told if she wanted to then go out to the dunghill and measure it. I don’t think she did. But that’s about as much as the day gets longer daily from January 1st, about as much as “the cock’s step on the dunkill.” 😉🐓💩 🌞