A Ghost Invaded Our Pond
edited: Monday, October 03, 2005
By Henry L. Lefevre
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, October 03, 2005
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Has a ghost invaded your pond?
A ghost invaded our pond. It's as white as a sheet, it comes and goes as it pleases, and other birds act as though it just isn't there. Even the geese let it strut without challenge and Canadian geese are vigilant gatekeepers.
Some say it's an egret. Some claim it's a crane. I take a neutral position since I haven't a clue. I deem it to be a what-cha-ma-call-it.
The bird stands on one leg just like a flamingo, but its color is white and not pink. It eats like a pig but it doesn't get fat, and it seems to find food wherever it's at.
When anything small swims within range, it suddenly strikes with its long pointed beak, considering the unwary pond-life just something to eat. Its legs are as skinny as matchsticks but its speed and its stealth resemble those of a ghost.
I'm now taking bets on whether the bird was imported from India. That's because its fishing maneuvers resemble those of a guru practicing yoga.
Out of curiosity, I tried to duplicate its single-foot stance and ended up toppling just like a toddler. Even flailing my arms didn't keep me from twisting my back, falling through space, and inadvertently plopping down on the floor. That's when I gave up. There was no way that I was going to master those contortionist moves out on the pond. I might get baptized by unsanctified water. I might even drowned in our two-foot-deep puddle.
Our long necked bird is unrelated to ducks. It never bobs for its food or exposes its downy posterior to the rest of the pond like the resident ducks tend to do.
It has wings like an eagle but never swoops in for the kill. It has a beak like a stork but never takes babies on cross-country flights.
It's as independent as a cat with a propensity for coming and going whenever it pleases and leaving whenever it wants to. It goes fishing wherever its mood says "go fish."
Since we've not been introduced, I call it a spearfish. The name might not meet the technical criteria for naming a bird but the description still fits because that's what it does. It either spears or harpoons whatever swims by.
This bird has a big ego. When it isn't fishing it stands in the pond and admires its reflection.
Perhaps the bird has a horrible temper since it hangs out alone. Perhaps it prefers to be known as a hermit for I've never seen it willing to put up with members of the opposite sex.
Of course, that brings up a critical question. If it insists on travelling alone, how does it mate? How does it perpetuate its unfriendly species? Perhaps this bird has its own version of the Immaculate Conception. Or do we really have a ghost on our pond?
(C) 2005 Henry L. Lefevre
Feel free to copy this piece -- as long as you give me the credit.