Holiday Flight


       A Flying Visit

As told by Floyd the Dog

        Have you met my friend Daphne? She usually drops in about this time of year. She hates the cold and was flying from the north of England, where she says she was born, to her winter home in the much kinder climate of southern Spain.

        It started when she was quite young. The first time was a navigational problem, she says. She was confused by the big birds. John and I had seen them flying over the mountain during one of my geography lessons when I was still a young lad, so I could understand how their loud and continuous growling would distract anybody close to them. Anyway, this particular big bird had passed by very close to the ground and alongside her. It really put Daphne in quite a flap. She lost her concentration and all sense of direction, so she headed for the first safe refuge she could see. Her more experienced family knew all about the big birds and took no notice of them. Daphne was left behind, deserted and alone. She was thankful and relieved to find somewhere nice where she could recover.

       Apparently our place had all the right facilities. Daphne decided she should take a rest with us before going on. She knew that a good size pond was an essential feature for anywhere that any self-respecting creature would even ever consider staying. Even though it was her maiden voyage, she knew a luxury stopover when she saw one.

        The sun was just about to go to bed when Daphne arrived for that first visit. Only the fish in the pond noticed her arrival. They must have been a little disturbed at first. Roy de Koi, the Top Fish, investigated the underside of the strange shape that had suddenly appeared floating on the upper surface of his territory. He told the others that, for the time being at least, there was no threat, but to keep clear until they and the newcomer had got used to each other – just in case!

        I didn’t see the visitor until quite late the following morning when I looked over the top of the pond and was somewhat startled to see a dark lump floating in the middle. I gave a little bark of surprise.

         The sound must have woken Daphne. Suddenly the brown lump sprouted a neck, a head with an untidy haircut, and a beak. I thought at first that one of Hortense’s duck friends had strayed into the wrong pond, but the colours were all wrong.

          I went to alert the Boss that we had an intruder on the premises. Daphne quacked something in a quiet and tired voice. When, later, I had learnt a bit of her sort of Duck talk, I realised that she apologised if she had upset anybody, but she was just too tired, weak, hungry and generally upset to do anything about it. Could she please rest for a while and have a bit of breakfast?

          Dear arrived on the scene. She guessed right away that we were dealing with a confused, worn out and starving bird. She went to get some bikkies that she crumbled up and soaked in a saucer of milk. She put these on the steps leading down to the pond. I was told that I would have to move away, so that Daphne would not be too scared to eat the food. After several feeds and a good sleep the duck was evidently feeling much better, swimming around the pond, sometimes turning almost upside down to look at the fish. Daphne did them no harm at all. We soon got used to each other and I would include her on my duty tour to make sure that all was well. Daphne would wag her tail and swim over to have a short chat with me. That is how I came to learn a little bit of Duck talk.

          Then, as suddenly as she had come, Daphne left without as much as a quack to say she was going! Time passed. The weather became dryer and warmer for a while, but suddenly the days were short and the nights were long again.

          One afternoon I heard a big splash in the pond. Daphne was back. “I had to drop in to thank you for looking after me when I got lost. I am much fitter now and could have gone all the way to my winter home without any problem. That would have been rude after all that you did for me last time. I would like to stay with you again, but just for a day or two, because I have met a nice young drake. He wants to build a nest for me.”

          Now Daphne ‘drops in’ to visit us every year. The Boss says he has to be very careful when he goes shopping. It would not be very nice if one day we accidentally had roast Daphne for dinner. We don’t really want to eat our friends!





lindsay   lindsay wrote
on 5/16/2008 10:21:39 PM
So cute! I love Floyd the Dog!

Children's Stories
Ages 9-12
writing FLOYDDOG
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Rating: 10.0/10

Published Date
3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Published In
Monthly Fan Letter