Saturday, December 09, 2006


"Hey, you!" said the egret.

I looked around.

"Me?" I asked.

"Yes, you," said the egret. "You're the one who gave the ducks all that free publicity, right?"

"Pardon?" I said. "That wasn't publicity! I was just reporting what I saw."

"No, you weren't," said the egret. "You were sucking up to the ducks. You're a duck-sucker-upper. What's so wonderful about ducks?"

"Well, it IS rather amazing how they walk on water," I said.

"That's NOTHING," said the egret. "WE can LEVITATE, but you don't write about that!"

"That's because I didn't know," I said. "Really? How? Do you use a Quack Echo Distributor, too?"

"Of course not, silly," said the egret. "We don't quack. Quackery's for the ducks."

"So what do you do, if you don't quack?" I asked.

"We bark," said the egret.

"You what?" I asked.

"Bark," said the egret.

"Like a dog?" I asked.

"Of course not!" said the egret. "It's the other way around. Dogs bark like us. Only they never levitate. They try, but they can't. It's because they're on land, and haven't figured out you need to be in the water to do it. They're a bit dim, dogs."

"That sounds a little strange to me," I said. "I mean, I've seen quite a lot of you, and I've never heard you bark."

"That's because with our superior technological skills we don't absorb only the echo, like ducks," said the egret. "We absorb the WHOLE THING. That's why we can levitate so well. You've seen us levitate, right?"

"Er..." I said, "I thought you were flying."

"We fly too, of course," said the egret. "And to the untrained eye there might not seem to be much difference, but I can assure you there is. Here, I'll show you."

The egret suddenly stuck its head in the water.

Then it emerged and did a funny little neck twist.

And then it ... levitated!

No, flew!

No, levitated!

Then it landed again.

"Well, what do you think?" it asked.

"What was that neck twist thing?" I asked.

"Oh, that was nothing," said the egret. "I got a frog in my throat. But weren't you impressed? Did you hear me bark?"

"No," I said.

"Well, there you are, then!" said the egret triumphantly. "That proves it!"

"Oh," I said.

"I think you should tell everybody about ME," said the egret.

"I will," I said.

"Show your photos, and don't forget to tell everybody I am barking," said the egret.

"If you insist," I said.

"I'm just surprised you hadn't noticed before," said the egret.

"Now that you mention it," I said, "I think I had."


kenju said...

Grewat photos; I love the last one with all the wavy line reflections!

Anonymous said...

Woof! *swallow*


Anonymous said...

While this entire story is great, "I got a frog in my throat" makes my day. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I like it. You really brought that egret to life. I miss him...

Anonymous said...

A barking mad Japanese egret. Hm. I swear, the birds you meet get stranger and stranger, BadAunt. Keep it up! ;-)

Dávid said...

I am an EFL teacher who wondered by thinking it was all about a verb tense ... but it's so much more fun. Thanks!