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The Nature Channel

We went to our duck pond last night after
dinner, hanging out and playing a bit with the girls’ friends
Paige and Becca. I spied our friend the heron over on the other
side, and we ambled over with some stale bread. The girls delighted
in throwing the bread to the ducks who came begging, and we were
careful to stand near the heron but not right in front of him,
being as nonthreatening as possible.

In a few minutes, our plan totally worked.
The fish in the pond began to nibble at our stale bread, and
“our” heron went into stalking mode – long neck
elegantly retracted to near nothing, body low to the ground, beak
parallel to the water. We held our breath as he stood motionless,
then – Splash! He ducked under water and came up with a fine
fish speared in his beak. A few moments later the poor fish
breathed his last and the heron swallowed him neatly in one big

The girls were entranced and quickly threw more bread hoping for an
encore performance. And our friend certainly delivered, spearing an
impressively large fish the second time and tossing him a bit
– with a little flair, I thought – to catch the impaled
fish and gulp him down.

The four girls stared, then broke into spontaneous applause.
“Yeah, heron! Good job!” Cora and Maddie yelled. Becca
began chanting, “Go, heron! Go, heron! Go, heron!” as
Paige charged the edge of the pond, intent I’m sure on
catching a fish herself for the big bird.

Who needs television?


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