‘Is it real?’
The heron holds its stony pose a moment longer, unfolds its pterodactyl wings and flaps slowly across the glaucous green of the canal, lazily snatching silver.
Breathless we watch. A messenger from another age, a Jurassic past of raptors, scales, leathery wings. We’re clutching mugs of tea, the engine down to tickover, entranced.
The heron settles on the opposite bank and throws the fish back into its maw. It resumes its ancient watching of the water, and we chug on by, leaving a smooth fold in the glass of the surface as we go.


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