Thursday, 7 May 2009

Learning to swim

Two kingfishers down at the hatches today. A fleeting flash of brilliant turquoise down by the creaking willows, then another, and they're gone. Blink and you've missed 'em. There was a mother duck, too, on an outing with her brood of downy brown and yellow chicks. Tiny little things, and probably only a few days old, they know how to swim almost as soon as they're hatched and within 24 hours they're usually foraging for themselves. It's a couple of months before they'll be able to fly, though.

Apparently, the old village schoolmistress, Portia Hobbs, used to take the village schoolchildren down to the river for swimming lessons. She'd stand on the bank in her knitted woollen costume – so I'm reliably told – and woe betide anyone who was unlucky enough to get an attack of the giggles.

“We’re all as God made us,” she’d tell them in no uncertain terms. And it would be straight into the chilly river water, pike or no pike.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I didn't know you were here! A four-legged version of Kilvert's Diary, eh? Will it be full of frisky bitches and exciting smells? In the meantime, it's along time since I've seen one kingfisher, let alone two, so I am a bit jealous.