Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Today before work I went down to the little river, and met a heron. I was pretty sure it was not the usual heron, and I wondered who it was.

"Hello," I said. "Are you a baby? I don't remember seeing - "

"Me, a baby?" asked the heron. "How insulting! I'm all grown up!"

"Oh, sorry," I said. "I was just wondering if - "

"Wondering what?" asked the heron. "What business is it of yours who I am?"

"Er, um," I said. "Let me try again. Hello. My name's Bad Aunt. Nice to - "

"Ooh, Bad Aunt! I've heard about you!" said the heron. "You're a teacher, aren't you? I've been having lessons recently. I bet I can fly better than you."

"Er... probably," I said. "I'm not much good at fl - ."

"That just proves it then," said the heron. "Those who can't do, teach."

"I beg your pardon?" I said. "That's not true! I just don't teach fl - "

"Hey, you can check something for me, since you've got a camera," said the heron.

"What?" I asked. I was getting a little irritated. Would this bird ever let me finish a sentence?

"I've learned that it is very important to point your toes when you fly. I'm sure YOU can't fly well, but at least you can check if I'm doing it right."

"Well, at least you could say plea - " I began.

"Take photos," said the heron. "Stick them on your blog and I'll check them out tonight. I've just remembered an appointment, and I can't hang around."

"Hey, wait a minute!" I said. "What do you mean, stick them on - "

But the heron took off without even saying goodbye.

I took pictures anyway, and as far as I could see the heron was pointing its toes perfectly. Actually (ARE YOU READING THIS, BIRD?), its flying was a lot better than its manners.


Cheryl said...

He does look very inquisitive and cheeky.

kenju said...

I do love your conversations with birds!

Lia said...

What Kenju said.

Radioactive Jam said...

You're really good at this. I'm not surprised by your notoriety in the subject community. Birds are chirping your praises even as I type I am sure.

At least they should be doing so. :-)

Anonymous said...

You might at least have gotten my good side.


doris said...

Wonderful photo post :-)

I am curious by the effect on the herons feet. Is it slime? Something else?

Not the usual heron - our British ones are all white (I believe) on the body.

And I loved the pic of your rude acquaintance as it flew up above the Japanese road signs.

Badaunt said...

Doris: The stuff around the bird's feet is flowing water. It is standing in the same place as the heron was in Conversion. I'm pretty sure it's not the same bird, though. The grey markings are not as strong.

There are white herons here, too, as you've seen from various other pictures. The white ones are called sagi and the grey ones aosagi, which are Little Egret and Grey Heron. (Blue in Japanese, grey in English.)

I've seen some smaller and larger white ones, though, which makes me wonder whether they're different types or just younger and older ones.