So Algy set off from his home and flew for many hours, until he reached the shores of the great sea loch. There he sought out one of the narrower stretches, as he was not very keen on crossing salt water, and flew across quickly, without looking down. He paused for a wee while on the further side, then turned towards the south, and started to follow the course of the great loch as it made its way towards the ocean. After a while he spotted a strange beach, which looked like a good place to rest. It was not at all like his own beach of fine white Hebridean shell sand, but covered instead with brown pebbles of various sizes; at the back of the beach there was a mass of gorse bushes instead of the sand dunes and Marram grass he was used to. However, it provided plenty of cover, and seemed like a reasonable place to break his journey. As he perched on a boulder and looked out at the loch, he was reminded of the opening of Walt Whitman’s famous poem, although he wasn’t exactly “afoot”, and his road was more silvery-grey than brown…
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
[Algy is quoting the opening of the poem Song of the Open Road by the 19th century American poet Walt Whitman.]