Sunday, March 12, 2006

The contest

When I arrived at the river the other day it was clear that something was going on. A crowd had gathered.


They seemed to be discussing something, but I couldn't hear very well. There was a lot of giggling.

After a while one gull flew out over the river.


It dived into the water, then resurfaced and flew back.


Everybody continued to look out at the river. At first I couldn't understand why, but then suddenly there was a loud, "EEK!"

I stared, astonished.


The gulls cheered hysterically.

"Ooh! That was a good one!" they screeched, and laughed and laughed and laughed.

"Disgraceful, isn't it?" said a voice beside me.

I turned.


"What's disgraceful?" I asked.

"Those birds!" said the dog. "The PERVERTS!"

"Er, what they are doing, exactly?" I asked.

"Didn't you see?" said the dog. "They're having a fish tickling contest."

"A what?" I asked.

"A FISH TICKLING CONTEST!" shouted the dog. "ARE YOU DEAF?"


"I can hear perfectly well, thank you," I replied. "Fish tickling? So that's how they did it! That was amazing."

"No, it wasn't." said the dog. "It was cruel. Do YOU like being tickled so hard you jump?"

"Oh," I said. I hadn't thought of it quite like that.

One of the cormorants called for space, and I turned back to see what was happening.

"MY TURN!" he shouted. "GET OUT OF MY WAY!"

The gulls, still giggling, shuffled out of the way. The cormorant started his take off.


But just as his feet left the ground a loud cry rang out over the river.

"STOP THAT AT ONCE!"


It was the heron.


The cormorant wobbled badly.

"YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES, PLAYING WITH YOUR FOOD!" shouted the heron. "AND THAT MEANS YOU, TOO, HIDING OVER THERE! OH, YES, I CAN SEE YOU! YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!"


The egret cringed, looking embarrassed. "I was just watching," she said. "I wasn't going to play."

"THAT'S NO EXCUSE," yelled the heron. "THIS CONTEST IS DECLARED OVER! GO AWAY AND DO SOMETHING USEFUL FOR A CHANGE!"

The gulls flew away, muttering amongst themselves.


"Good!" said the dog. "I was worried they'd start on me next. I HATE being tickled."

"Really?" I asked. "I met a dog here the other day who told me he loved being tickled, especially under the chin."

"How utterly revolting," said the dog. "You're not going to try it, are you? I'll bite if you do!"


"I wouldn't dream of it," I said.

6 comments:

Radioactive Jam said...

Is that the same heron whose head exploded? 'Cause I'm guessing he might still be a little edgy, particularly toward the cormorant.

Great shot, catching the fish "airborne." I usually fail just trying to *see* them, never mind capturing one on film.

Fuzzball said...

*laughing hysterically at the tiny dog*

wendy said...

That's a lot of birdlife for a city centre..how neat.

Oh..and brilliant post as usual. That dog has just the right look for those comments you gave him.

Writer Mom said...

I love these!

You've got the dog down pat! (was that a pun?)

I took the camera out into the woods the other day with my family.
Alas, no woodland creatures, and my dogs chased away the geese before I could unwind from the leash and get the lens cap off. I need a zoom, and I need to leave the family and pets at home!

Badaunt said...

The birds are WAY out on the river, down towards the sea. They don't frequent the built-up areas around the river.

WriterMom - I have a good zoom (10X). I would never get close enough to the birds without it. I use the zoom, and then on the computer crop like mad and zoom even more. If I used my old 3X zoom the pictures would be either this big |_| or totally pixellated. I never thought I'd be able to afford a good zoom, but this camera was actually cheaper than our old one. (It's an Olympus C760. A good amateur camera, and I am definitely an amateur.)

I didn't need a good zoom for the dogs, though. :-)

bart said...

you didn't have your fingers crossed when you said that, did you?

i love these story posts of yours, the story seems to fit the photos just fine :D