Thank you Kingfisher

The gurgling rush of water rustles the air, my heart beats
quickly; a river, flowing, bubbling, pours below the shade of
whispering trees.
I looked over my shoulder, seeing the other children clanging
sticks, shouting war cries, running around proclaiming what side they
were on. I’d had enough of stick battles now and was drained of
energy; perhaps I would compete again soon, but now, I was only
interested in how the loud burble of the chatting grown-ups could
not drown out the gushing of the water.
I rushed down the bank, my crocs squeaking in the dew, finding
a soft cushion of grass, I knelt down, resting my weary hands on my
What a fascinating place this was, at first I had thought the long
field where we were camping was amazing, it was smothered in
tents, containing people I knew and people I didn’t, friends to run
around with and new children to play with. Normally isolated from
other children in my countryside home, it was thrilling to spend days
racing with my friends, making afternoons stretch out with
excitement and imagination games. I grinned, looking at the
tumbling water, and now, a river as well, what fun!
I leaned my head over the bank, staring deeply through the
A world of stones and swirling weed, meets me, Squirmy things
wriggling and wiggling though pebbles, fish, and some other
creature, slimy and slippery snuffling itself deep into mud. Warblers,
and itts, flit over the river, whizzing their golf ball sized bodies into
trees. I sit back, fiddling with a stem of grass, the trills of birdsong
tickling my ear, the fresh scent of water brushing my nostrils.
A flash of blue cuts the air.
I stir my head, my eyes wide as the vision grows clearer, a bird
zipping over the river, racing with the wind, claps the air with a
flourish of shimmering wings, set alight with sunlight dancing on
them, glinting the deep rich blue.
My mind spins, as the bird glides through the air, getting lower
and slower until with a rustle of wings, he flutters onto a post.
I hold my breath, he’s so close I could reach out and touch him.
My eyes drink in his feathers, they were more than blue;
turquoise and greens shimmer with thousands of water droplets
sprinkling his back, glowing like jewels in the sun, multitudes of
colour swirling every item he ruffed his wings. He chirped and
turned around, revealing a chest of flaming orange, blazing up to his
neck and throat, a long beak peering between two glittering black
I gasped, my heart leaping, a kingfisher!
He studied me, cocking his head, taking in my eager face with a
sharp eye, watching.
I look back at him, excitement tingling through my body.
A real kingfisher! Not a picture frozen in a book but a breathing,
warm one.
The kingfisher patters around the post, his shoulders hunched,
dipping his beak over the rough surface; our eyes meet again, he
puffs up his chest, slowly plumping his feathers over the wood. He
gazes contently at me, letting out a trilling cheep.
The sound is short but caresses my ear, it’s water trickling over
stones, bubbling foam gushing; my lips smile, it’s the song of a bird
of the water, my eyes glow, “Thank you, kingfisher”.
The kingfisher inclines his head, raising his iridescent wings, a
gust of wind lifts them, and he wheels, flapping to the canopy of a
lush, swaying tree.