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.]

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Algy could see from the rapidly darkening sky that another shower of heavy sleet was approaching, so he tucked himself into a large hollow beneath the battered old gorse bushes, made a cosy bed of dry bracken to rest on, and settled down to wait for the skies to clear again.

Algy hopes that you will all find a cosy place of shelter this weekend too, especially if your own skies are looking black…

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It was mid-November and a gale was blowing up, bringing suddenly blackened skies carrying torrential showers of slushy sleet, or sometimes rain mixed with icy hail. But when Algy stopped to look carefully at the heather bushes growing in the shelter of the rocks on the hill, he was thrilled to see some tiny purple bells still flowering there. Winter was approaching rapidly, but it was not quite here yet 🙂

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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…

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Algy left the forest and flew back towards his home by the wild ocean, fighting against the roaring north-east wind all the way. In the distance he could see the dual peaks of the Isle of Rum, dusted white with the first snow of the coming winter. It felt bitterly cold, and he wondered whether it wouldn’t have been wiser to have stayed beneath the cover of the great forest. He dropped down to the ground to rest by one of his favourite birch trees, amid a shower of falling leaves that were whirling round and round in the wind. Fascinated, Algy watched as he quickly acquired a pretty coverlet of russet, red and yellow, which glowed like pure gold in the autumn sunlight…

Algy wishes you all a very happy Sunday, and hopes that if you too live in these northern lands, you will manage to stay cosy and warm 🙂

Algy dropped down to the woodland floor and leaned back on a soft carpet of mosses and fallen beech leaves. It was peaceful in the woods and everything seemed hushed; apart from the quiet rippling of the river, and the occasional whisper of a falling leaf, there was almost no sound. As he contemplated the trees in their autumn glory, Algy was reminded of a famous verse by Lord Byron:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal. 

[Algy is quoting a small part of the long narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by the early 19th century Anglo-Scottish poet Lord Byron.]

Algy had found an excellent perch in a hole in an ancient oak tree, so he tucked himself in comfortably and settled down to watch the life of the river for a wee while. It was a cool, misty October afternoon and not a great deal was happening, but several ducks were swimming lazily up and down stream, first this way and then that, with no very clear intent, while the river flowed calmly on towards the sea. Suddenly, a robin started to sing his autumn song from a branch nearby; Algy looked up at his pretty little cousin, and smiled 🙂