The Secret Song

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Algy flew into the edge of a forest beside the great sea loch, and found a cosy spot where he could recline on a soft bed of grass and dry bracken. Lying back among the autumn foliage he stared up at the tall trees towering above him, listening to the sounds of the birds and tiny insects who were going about their daily lives in this peaceful environment. It was much calmer inside the forest than on the shores of the loch, and he could hear many wee rustling noises and murmurings of the forest folk. Algy reflected on the amazing complexity of life that went almost entirely unnoticed most of the time… It reminded him of a children’s poem which he had discovered recently:

Who saw the petals
drop from the rose?
I, said the spider,
but nobody knows.

Who saw the sunset
flash on a bird?
I, said the fish,
but nobody heard.

Who saw the fog
come over the sea?
I, said the sea pigeon,
only me.

Who saw the first
green light of the sun?
I, said the night owl,
the only one.

Who saw the moss
creep over the stone?
I, said the grey fox,
all alone.

Algy hopes that you all have a calm and peaceful Sunday xo

[Algy is quoting the poem The Secret Song by the early 20th century American writer of children’s books, Margaret Wise Brown.]

Lifting Fog

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When the morning sun filtered through the soft white curtain of fog, the beautiful, warm colours of a Highland moorland in autumn started to emerge in patches here and there. Algy leaned back comfortably against a wee ledge on one of the numerous rock outcrops, and watched the colours increase in intensity and begin to glow as the sun gradually lifted the fog from the hillsides.

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The gorse was altogether too prickly for his tail feathers, so Algy hopped down to a more comfortable perch on a clump of heather which overhung the burn, and gazed at all the water rushing away to the sea. The local landscape almost always had a plentiful supply of fresh water, as there were only a few days in the year in which it did not fall out of the sky. But it was a different matter for many of the local human residents, whose water supply systems were dependent upon very basic collection facilities which routinely became blocked by storm-swept vegetation, some unfortunate frog, or even, on one occasion, an eel… In fact, it was very often the case that the more water that fell – whether as rain, sleet, or snow – the more likely it was that the humans’ homes would be without a water supply!

Have a happy weekend, everyone, with a plentiful supply of fresh water 🙂

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The weather had been very confused lately. There had been an enormous amount of rain, sometimes with ice or slushy sleet mixed in with it, hurtling down out of black skies and covering everything with grey sheets of water – or snow on the higher peaks. But there had also been some beautifully bright, sunny intervals. At times the sky had been totally overcast and forbidding, but at other times it cleared, and an orderly line of white and pale grey clouds scurried hastily across a sea of blue in a neat procession from the north-west.

Algy knew that, in the West Highlands, the best autumn colours were always seen when the sun came out soon after it had rained, so, when the paler clouds came scurrying again, he flew up to a spot where he could admire the effect. On a dry day, the fading moorland grasses looked lifeless and dull, even when the autumn sun was bright, but if they were thoroughly wet when the sun came out, they lit up in a wonderful range of colours which covered the landscape in glowing carpet of orange and red and golden-brown.

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As the weather forecast for the week ahead was grim, Algy decided to make the most of a brief spell of sunshine, and go for a wee ride in the birch tree while it was still relatively calm and comfortably dry. As he looked at the colours of the leaves around him, he felt that for once he had almost achieved a state of satisfactory camouflage, but unfortunately it could only last for as long as the leaves still clung to the tree, which would not be very long at all if the forecast was correct…

Algy flew into the beech woods which lined one side of the river bank, and found a rather less comfortable perch than the one he had just left…

Although he loved his wild and windy home by the ocean shore, and the constant, soothing sounds of the sea, he had to admit that it made a pleasant change to be sheltered by these stately trees, and to be able to observe the autumn colours in the peaceful woodland without being blown around…

Algy hopes that you will all enjoy a peaceful weekend in a pleasant spot 🙂

Algy looked more closely at the river and the stones and the autumn leaves, and soon discovered that he was surrounded by a range of wonderful colours. Even the shadows on the water were really a deep indigo blue, not a dreary black after all, and the carpet of fallen leaves had a range of hues from green to gold to red and orangy-brown. When he realised that what had seemed at first like a depressingly dismal scene actually contained all the colours of the rainbow, Algy smiled a surprisingly fluffy smile and felt a lot happier.

But he had heard that one of his friends who was travelling had caught a nasty virus and was feeling very poorly, so to cheer her up – and anyone else feeling sick today – Algy recited this wee poem. He hopes that you will all be going out to play again very soon 🙂

“I cannot go to school today,“
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more – that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut – my eyes are blue –
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke –
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is – what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is… Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

[Algy is quoting the children’s poem “Sick” by the 20th century American writer Shel Silverstein.]