Wednesday, January 25, 2006


The Duck Olympics (here, and here) seem to be over, sadly. Today the cleanup crew was there, picking up the mess the audience had left behind. They'd almost finished by the time I turned up, but one poor guy was doing overtime. He had one last bag of rubbish to get to shore.

It was a hell of a job, but with only a minimum of swearing ...

... he got the job done.

The Duck Olympics may be over, but that doesn't mean it wasn't an interesting and informative day down at the river. Today I got to see evolution in action. That's right. I SAW IT HAPPEN.

It went like this.

I was watching some carp, and one of them came close to the edge of the river. I wasn't near enough, and the fence got in the way, but something looked a bit strange.

I quickly parked my bicycle and ran over to take another photo. As I waited for the carp to appear I noticed that the big bird was watching, too. I wasn't the only one who thought something funny was going on.

Sure enough, when the carp turned up by the reeds, it looked ... different.

And that was because it WAS different. It no longer looked like a carp AT ALL.

As it emerged from the water I could see that it was evolving before our very eyes. It was turning into a ... a ... THINGUMMY!

The Thingummy climbed up onto dry land ...

... and the big bird levitated in shock.

I was rather surprised by the levitating, I must admit. I have never seen a bird levitate before. But as the bird explained to me later, it's not something I would see normally, because they don't do it very often.

"We have wings. Why would we need to levitate?" he said. "It's one of those useless talents we have."

"Oh," I said. "Er, really?"

"Yes, really," the bird said. "It's a redundant skill. Flying is easier. It's only in moments of extreme stress that we levitate, and generally by mistake."

I never knew that.


Wendy said...

I ownder if you could get a book deal out of these little stories...they're fantastic. And much better written than that other stuff you've been reading. (Not too sure about the grammar in that there sentence...:-)..but I've been doing comparatives this week and am so confused after hearing all the tripe that my students come up with...if you hear something often enough it starts to sound right!

The Editter said...

That Thingammy looks like a hog-nosed ratypus!

And that levitating-bird shot was hilarious. Was he not embarrassed you witnessed it?

Potentilla said...

The Thingummy is a coypu (nutria) I think, escaped from a fur farm.

The bird is probably a little egret.

Just in case you were interested.

BerlinBear said...

Oh, my thingummy money was on it being a water vole, just like Ratty from The Wind in the Willows, but no, I think potentilla is right. It's the orange teeth which are a bit of a giveaway.

kenju said...

Just toooo funny! I love your little picture stories. You should do more and then publish a book!

Radioactive Jam said...

A fine series, this. Thanks for sharing these examples of your creativity. And I'll echo other commenters with "More, please!"

Fuzzball said...

I'm a brand-new reader and I can't stop howling at this story. It's a THINGUMMY!! AAAAH!