Friday, November 07, 2008

The things you sometimes see from your writing desk...


I dunno, talk about distractions while you're writing. Looked up from my desk yesterday morning and down into next door's garden, and what should I see but a beautiful heron standing on the fence. Well, I was rather lost in my latest story - double-lost: I'm trying to write a story about someone lost in a memory which she isn't even sure of - so it didn't occur to me at that point why the heron was standing there. I happened to have my camera on my desk so I snapped it, then looked away, back to my story. When I looked up again the heron had moved down to the side of the neighbours' pond. Should I run the two flights and outside and chase it away? Before I could move, it bent down and picked out of the water a big lump of soggy weed. What on earth, I thought, would a heron want with a soggy lump of weed? (You see, I really wasn't with it). The heron stepped down onto the lawn and dropped the weed to begin poking it. As soon at it let go, the lump shot away, so the heron snapped it up again, hopped back onto the side of the pond, and methodically dipped it into the water over and over, so the weed was washed away and the shape of a frog emerged, its legs flailing. And when at last all the weed was gone, in the split second after this photo was taken, the heron swallowed it whole.

The worst bit? Watching the heron's neck convulse as the frog fought inside it for at least five minutes, while the heron stood nonchalant and still on the side of the pond.

2 comments:

Bournemouth Runner said...

That's a good luck omen, I reckon. Though obviously not for the frog. My friend Samantha wanted to mention a heron in every story she wrote in some form. All I could manage was to buy her "The Heron" by Giorgio Bassani, which actually turned out to be a lovely little book.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Hah! Thanks for that, I'll look out for it.