The Lake- October

 

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It’s quiet on the lake. There’s a touch of mist on the water, and up at the far end there are thirty seven Canada geese who have stopped off for a rest before heading down to the river in town. It’s warmer there.
But for now, they’re happy enough to huddle together, chattering in their jazz-saxophone voices.

Then I spot the ducklings. There are seven of them. They’re a late brood. I saw them for the 1st time on the 10th of September so they’re just about five weeks old. I didn’t think that they would survive for long- the heron is a regular visitor- but somehow they’ve only lost one. They’re quite big, almost fully grown, and te they are still swimming around in a gang, with the mother ploughing along behind. As soon as I take the bag of breadcrumbs out of my pocket, they reverse course and come charging up the bank.

 

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And as soon as they’ve scrambled and bickered and eaten all the crumbs, then they scurry back to the water and head off for the middle of the lake, where it’s safer.

There’s something ridiculous about ducklings. They look like wind-up bathroom toys- and yet, they live dangerously. There’s always the heron waiting to pounce, and people say there are a couple of pike in the lake, and they’re looking for a few good meals before they sink down into the depths before winter comes.

Mist changes everything. It hides and discloses at the same time. I can’t see the end of the lake properly, and yet, suddenly, I’m surrounded by spider webs, hanging like exotic, delicate  jewellry from the bushes.  What I’m looking at here is an IDEA brought to fruition, it’s a killing machine, it’s a necklace.

 

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