Animals, Seasons

132 – The Great Heron Migration

Flying towards me yesterday evening as I ran down Preau Hill was an army of darkness, the likes of which I’d never seen before.

‘Aliens,’ I cried out as I looked up at the blackening sky.

But it wasn’t a spaceship I saw. It was a blanket of feathers carpeting the sky from horizon to horizon. An impenetrable duvet of death heading straight for me in the form of a massive flock of herons.

‘Oi, you down there,’ squawked their leader. ‘Yeh you with the high cut running shorts and gender-bending fluorescent vest.’

‘What me?’ I whimpered.

‘Yes, you Oggers, you slimy human runt. I want a word.’

I was in trouble. These were the same herons that I’d written about in Blogley 125. The ones who were off to Brazil for some sun and cocktails to escape the cold. They must have read my blog about the early return of spring. Oh dear.

‘We thought we’d come back for spring,’ the leader continued. ‘Only it doesn’t feel like spring does it Oggers? More like bleeding winter.’ His yellow eyes boring into my lycra clad body.

He was right though. The weather had turned. Slashing rain, sheeting hail, gale force winds. Not good for a flock of migrating herons who had recently given up their sunny homes in Brazil.

‘So Oggers, old chum,’ he continued. ‘This is what we’re going to do. That pond of yours up there on the hill.’ He pointed to it with his giant wing. ‘I thought we’d take a rest there for a few weeks as we hear there’s plenty of frogs. Fresh ones as well. Just out of nappies.’

I gulped. ‘Well, I’d love you to, but you see, it isn’t big enough for all you. It’s only a  tiny…’

But they’d gone. ‘No, wait,’ I cried and started sprinting up to the house. It wasn’t the damn frogs I was bothered about. Christ no! It was my novel. If they all landed in the pond at the same time, the resulting tidal wave would not only wash away the house, but my novel as well. Written as it was on the thin parchment paper that I’d fashioned out of bulrushes over the summer. It’d disintegrate in seconds, like a wafer in hot tea.

I got to the house just in time and dashed into the barn looking for my Proton Laser Gun. Only to remember that I’d sold it to my old friend Paul Quadros one drunkard night in Nottingham in 1998 for a can of lager. ‘Damn. I knew I’d need it some day,’ I cursed. Instead I picked up a hammer with which to confront my nemesis who was now circling the pond with his troops.

‘Wait,’ I cried at the leader who had all the facial qualities of Lemmy – a real ugly looking heron. ‘There are too many of you. It’s like a Hawkwind reunion gig up there,’ I gestured towards them with my air guitar. ‘Look, guys,  I’ve an idea. I’ve got an old friend in Nottingham called Paul Quadros. He’s a good bloke, he’ll put you up. Plus he likes Hawkwind. In fact I think he used to be in them. There’s a pub called The Frog and Onion, yeh, I know it’s a dumb name, but go there and ask for Paul. He’ll give you everything you need. Oh and Lemmy. One final thing.’

‘What?’ asked Lemmy.

‘Good luck.’ I grinned and went inside to phone Paul to tell him to get his Proton Laser Gun ready. Hawkwind was on its way.

*Thanks to Justin P Brown Music Photography for Hawkwind idea.

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