This morning, while enjoying my constitutional around Writtle Green, I observed the most ugly and aggressive behaviour from an interloper towards the normal peace-loving residents of this quiet Essex village, the location of the very first wireless broadcast in the UK ninety years ago.
The assailant was, it has to be admitted, very handsome, tall and slender, and…grey. It was a heron which had invaded the Writtle duck-pond, home of various ducks and the famous Writtle goose. The heron was wading, very slowly, looking for its breakfast in the pond. The ducks were doing what ducks do, floating about, quacking a little, generally minding their own business, but vaguely interested in the heron which was slowly advancing in their direction.
The ducks didn’t move, but the heron did; it jabbed viciously at them with its murderous beak. They fluttered back a bit, but on the second or third lunge the goose decided to join in from his island. He hissed at the heron…which sort of turned round in a direction away from the ducks. I had to leave then; I doubt if the heron did get any breakfast. The Writtle pond is greenish and shallow, probably nothing more than a few creepy-crawlies.
Herons are beautiful, elegant, graceful and courtly. Ducks always strike me as rather stupid… But I must say, I was on the side of the ducks today, and I was pleased that the goose waded in to support its fellow residents…
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs