I’ve been feeling rather subdued since Legend’s premature loss, so accustomed am I to him following respectfully with rather mournful eyes, eyes which belie the rapidity with which he could twitch away, usually to follow Munson’s offer of a stick or promise of an excitingly malodorous piece of dung.
A brief break in the clouds gave us a chance to cheer ourselves with a walk on the farm perimeter, Munson tearing up and down beside us like a freshly oiled zipper. After four weeks of April showers the ground cannot hold any more water, and as we approach the gullies at the bottom of sloping fields, is so spongy that it seems barely capable of securing the grassy tufts and wavering thistles floating above. One frequently hears an intestinal gurgle as subterranean fluid is about to be ejected through mole-holes and cracks in the recently tilled soil.
My own pond career lasted for a few months in my fresher year at Wesley College thirty years ago. One of my jobs was to clean the turtle pond in the central courtyard each week, which often made people think I was the elected (or rather designated) Turtle Sec(retary), a position given to another first year student. Putting the general turtle welfare in the hands of someone like that was like handing over the World Wildlife Fund to someone on the basis of their frequently waking up from a binge in a Panda-strewn bamboo forest. At any rate, my scum-clearing talents soon had me moved up to scouring pans in the college kitchen for a few years. But while I’ve never been fazed by washing up for 200 people, I’ve never had a chance to resume my pond maintenance skills till moving to France.
Back in the Sargasso, Munson circles and criss-crosses the pond, usually in a brisk wallow, but often punctuated by bounding skips and leaps.
Just around the corner on the service road between farms is a little bend that I find very picturesque. If I were more adept with pen or brush I’d be rendering it in oils..