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the hypothetical pike

This morning, walking across Donnington Bridge, I spotted a commotion underwater. A duck's wing was flapping up through water opaque and khaki with flood, describing crazy circles, while all around other ducks dibbled and preened and did unconcerned, duckish things, only pausing to snap and heeb when splashed or smacked by the flailing wing. Its head came up for a moment and then it went under again, up and then under, and then a long desperate underwater flight was dimly visible as a trail of splashes and bubbles across to the fast-moving central channel of the river, where the duck came up, flapping, splashing and tail-wagging in a classic escape from threat display.

Of course, there's no way of knowing, but I suspect a Pike. Not least because the slightly sad swan family lost a cygnet in mysterious circumstances from about the same point. Pike are ambush hunters; they dart and grab, but a grown duck would be big enough to break free.

Yesterday, the wind was blowing strongly on the river; rowers were catching the wind, being knocked sideways and blown downstream, making crazy times (in both directions). I made a joke about it with my boss, trying to be light-hearted (while we still can).


( 2 worms — Feed the birds )
13th Jan, 2011 08:51 (UTC)
My brother made me terrified of pike when I was about 9 & we used to go sailing, he told me they were big enough to bite my toes off if I fell in the water!
14th Jan, 2011 00:02 (UTC)
People do say that about Pikes -- fish stories. They only attack big things by accident
( 2 worms — Feed the birds )