Once upon a time.
Perspective makes fools of us all, she thought, nudging Rupert with a foot. That elusive, diminishing horizon point narrowing the grains of the planks, replacing the illusion of distance with the illusion of height.
As a girl she'd thought she saw the world clearly with those shiny new eyes of hers. She'd trusted her sight with her heart and her soul. Now she sat, wisdom if not patience incarnate, contemplating trust and the melting of trust, the bitter lessons and the sweet.
Rupert's cold metabolism warmed audibly in the direct sunlight, the creaking and bubblings of a paused fermentation drowning the plash of waves under the dock. The organic sound bringing perspective back to her like a short echo: hunger now outstripping yesterday's meal.
Rupert would require a little something sooner rather than later.
For a moment she was lost in the little somethings available to them: a soupçon, a soup-spoon, a garçon, a –– Good lord, what a racket! –– of what? Maybe cold green beans or a dab of gravy and a chicken leg.
Well let's hope that'll hold him, she thought, big boy like Rupert had an appetite, no matter how you look at him.
David Attenborough narrates: "The first cold front rumbles through the subtropical morning, pushing rain and a chill wind across Tampa Bay in November. At long last, winter has returned.
"Solitary and wary, Spawn emerges slowly from her summer den. She occupies the apex of sailing predators, but caution can be seen in every move as her protective coverings fall away. It has been a long six months of shelter away from daylight and water.
"Once she is in the open, Spawn must quickly make her way into the sea. The accoutrements of speed are complex yet remarkably delicate, and each outing she makes entails a frenzy of preparation and grooming activity.
"A single forgotten shackle or mis-run halyard can mean the difference between success and failure as she embarks in one of her highly anticipated adventures.
"Making the ungainly transition from land to water, she begins to bob and sidle with imatience. Having gained her preferred element, her purpose in the world becomes clear. She will sail, and quickly."
Of course someone has already coopted Sir David's style to narrate their part of the natural world; still, thank you!
My mumsie used to call it "burbling," the sort of cheerful, not-terribly-important chatter that doesn't –– strictly speaking –– require an audience. As nice a term as any, and onomatopoeic to boot.
A propensity to burble was perhaps one of the reasons she sent me to kindergarten a little early. I've always had a lot to say.
I've tacked away from sailing as a topic to burble about (about which to burble?) for the past couple of months here on the blog, but it doesn't mean that I haven't been writing about sailing.
So for those sweet readers who tell me they enjoy this sort of thing, here are a couple of links to the Flying Scot webpage.
I've been doing an occasional column about boat names there for my Bar Harbor buddy Ned Johnston (Hi Ned!), who edits the class newsletter.
"Sing a Song of Sixpence" Page 18 of https://www.fssa.com/files/scots_63_4.pdf
"From Another Shore" page 16 of https://www.fssa.com/files/scots_63_3_web.pdf
"THAT Name" page 12 of https://www.fssa.com/files/scots_63_2.pdf
"What's in a Name" tag 11 of https://www.fssa.com/files/scots_63_1.pdf
I moved to Florida after a quarter century of blizzards and farm animals and bumblebees. Ah, never will I forget my first enormous cockroach –– when it flew at my head. The size of a Medjool date with wings and a heft like a badminton shuttlecock.
And fireants and that steep steep learning curve about the volume of living creatures armed to the tropical teeth with venom! Never even mind the gators, crocs, and invasive serpents. Black ice? No, black widow. Rabid skunk? No, rabid drivers, smouldering muck fires, New Year's Eve gunplay.
Anyhow, the charms outweigh the hazards most of the time. For instance, the lowly gecko –– also a transplanted resident –– with her suction cup fingers and translucent belly, who appears on my bathroom sink to remind me of the old proverb:
A cat may look at a king.
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