There’s a little lake at the back of my property. It’s surrounded by trees. Sometimes I think I must be the only person who knows the lake exists. I’ve never seen anyone there, and it doesn’t appear to be on any map I’ve seen. Mind you, it’s not a big lake.
That lake gives me a lot of pleasure. In fact I have a green plastic chair I leave down there and often I’ll sit for a quiet, reflective time. Sometimes there are a few wild ducks swimming about. Twice now I’ve seen a couple of blue herons fossicking in the shallows. But it’s the stillness of the lake that fills me with the greatest joy.
I’ve had this property for about forty years; about thirty of those I suppose I’ve been going to the lake on a regular basis. Goodness! Thirty years since my wife died! I didn’t go to the lake hardly at all before that.
I still can’t believe how placid and calming that little lake is these days. Contrast that with the tumultuous clamour my wife made when I threw her in with concrete blocks tied to her knees. She was flaying about like an octopus caught in a net. Such a hullabaloo! Such a racket!
Yes indeed. I never knew before then how a little lake could hold such joy.
Every day after school Biddy would go down to the lake to feed the fish. A good dozen trout used to wait for her, and then dart around excitedly when she appeared. They knew her and Biddy knew them. She even had names for some of them: Spot, Rainbow, Shadow, Speedy…
One day her mother said, “Why don’t you catch one for dinner? There’s plenty there, and one less fish won’t matter.”
So Biddy did that. She got a little fishing line, and fortunately caught one of the trout that didn’t have a name.
But none of the fish ever came back to see Biddy again. They disappeared into the depths of the lake. She had lost their trust.
Lynette was absolutely crapping herself. She knew what she was doing was illegal. She sat in the air flight for sixteen hours worried silly.
Back home she had a lake. It was a beautiful lake at the end of sprawling lawns with weeping willows. There was one thing the lake lacked: white swans. There were no white swans in the country, only black ones. Black swans weren’t as graceful as white swans. Oh for white swans gliding on the lake!
Lynette had hidden three swan’s eggs in her luggage. She could get fined thousands of dollars if Customs officials discovered them. Why had she done it? Why? Why? The flight home was sixteen hours of pure stress. Perhaps she should own up to it.
The plane landed. Lynette collected her luggage and proceeded to pass through Customs.
“You’re fine,” said the Customs official waving her through without even checking.
You’ve no idea! You’ve no idea! The relief! Oh! The relief! Lynette was over the moon. All she needed now was an incubator.
Anyway, the next morning Lynette’s husband had them for breakfast.