Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Game

The gulls were bored. They'd had a busy day, but now they had nothing to do. They milled around aimlessly.

The heron had been fishing in the murkier areas of the river, and needed a wash.

He flew over to join the gulls.

When they saw him coming the gulls whispered excitedly to each other, but I couldn't hear what they were saying.

The heron landed and looked at the gulls, who looked back.

"Why are you all looking at me like that?" asked the heron.

"Like what?" asked one of the gulls.

"You're STARING," said the heron suspiciously.

"We're just ... admiring you, said the gull. "Yes, admiring you. That's it. Right, guys?"

"Right!" chorused the others. There were muffled giggles in the back.

"Idiots," said the heron. "There's nothing to admire. I'm all grubby."

He began to wash.

The gulls tiptoed forward, cautiously.

The heron looked up, and some of the gulls in the middle stopped so suddenly they bumped into each other.

"What are you doing?" asked the heron.

"Nothing!" said one of the gulls. "You didn't see anything, did you?"

"Well, no," said the heron. "But I'm sure you've moved."

"No, we haven't," said the gull. "We were just, you know, adjusting our positions. Washing. Stretching our wings, stuff like that."

The heron glared, and they looked back innocently. He went back to his washing. "Something funny's going on," he muttered to himself.

One of the gulls flew forward and landed right in front of the heron.

Another two quickly moved closer as well. The heron looked up sharply.

"WHAT?" he demanded. "YOU'RE STILL STARING!"

"Nothing!" said the gull at the front. "Er, we're just watching, and learning how to wash properly. You're VERY good at it."

"I don't believe you," said the heron. "You MOVED again. You weren't here before!"

"Yes, we were," said the gull.

"No, you weren't!" said the heron, but he sounded a little uncertain. "Were you?"

I heard a voice beside me.

"Darn! I'm too late."

I turned.

"Too late for what?" I asked.

"Too late to join in the game," said the gull. "He's going to catch on in a minute, and I've missed all the fun. Grandmother's Footsteps is always MUCH more interesting when 'Grandmother' doesn't know you're playing."


Ms Mac said...

Very cute!

crmj said...

Black-headed gulls, Larus ridibundus. Am I a bird bore?

kenju said...

Love this, just as I love all your photo essays.

Badaunt said...

Crmj: You're not a bird bore. You're a bird nerd! (And I like it. It's good to know what I'm photgraphing.)

Actually, there are some small black and white bird that flit around by the river a lot. I've been trying to photograph them, but without much luck. They move too suddenly and I miss them. I consulted a bird book but couldn't figure out what they were. When I get a good shot of one I'll post it. Maybe you'll know it.

Mike said...

Badaunt, these stories are always good. Cute stuff.

BobCiz said...

You've done it again, brightened my day with your astute observation. The metaphorical aspects of your stories are fun to realize. Mary and I actually spend time dissecting and analyzing and probably assigning more or different meaning than you intend, but, hey, that's the fun part. Keep 'em coming.

zilla said...


(I'm here by way of Bart, btw)

When does the book come out?

Anonymous said...

Nice game, although it has nothing to do with present simple.