River Wissey Lovell Fuller


February 2011

Another stirring tale from the banks of the River Wissey

A North wind funnelled down the river. A cold chill pierced every living thing in its path. Although early in the morning it was unusually bright thanks to Mother Nature who had provided a covering of snow which sparkled and shone. Greens and browns had disappeared and everywhere was dressed in uniform white. Just a mere inch had transformed all shapes and colours and together with a long regimented line of conifer trees the scene alongside the river Wissey proved a truly seasonal picture.

If we could choose to ignore the drudge of daily work then this would be a day when most people would stay indoors with their log fires burning. Alas our fur and feather friends have no such luxury. The geese from far-away just float on the slack water with their heads buried under their feathers. The rooks from the high tops circle as ever and voice their triumph in noisy terms. A colourful pheasant struts the tree line whilst a busy kingfisher skims up and down in its never ending quest to provide for the family.

However other creatures have also ventured out. They have been and gone and but for the snow we would never have known! Footprints in the snow show a path of someone with great intent. He does not run but slowly and stealthily makes his way alongside the river. His long tail brushes the ground and shows in the tracks. We can guess that curiosity made him pause where the footpath meets the bank side - perhaps to view the geese and lick his lips! Onward he travelled weaving about as the path turns this way and that. For a moment we lose him on wet ground and no clear tracks can be followed. Then his signs reappear further down the river. His pace remains slow and steady with no more deviation. Then new smaller tracks appear from the undergrowth and meet the larger ones. Immediately there is a great disturbance. The two creatures meet and marks are many and deep. Skids and scrapes abound. A feeble chase ensued but not for long as our fox quickly catches the rabbit. Alas the poor rabbit had hopped straight into the path of dear old Reynard. Perhaps the weather had upset the rabbit's senses but for sure his radar failed to work and there was no second chance!

With a burst of surprise the sun appears but its effort is wasted. It could easily have stayed in bed today as already it is blinding bright. Soon the icicles will start to drip. Highlighted cobwebs will drop and droop and be gone forever. Frozen puddles will thaw and crisp will become soft. Regardless of past events the clock will continue to tick and before nightfall everything normal will return for the roulette wheel to spin again and decide our weather for yet another day.

Back at the arena of events everything is also melting. The stain of life blood is fading fast. Soon will be the passage of other creatures. The trail of the fox's further journey is becoming difficult to follow. Perhaps he continued on his way with more adventures ahead but be not hasty to pass your judgement. Our friend the fox must eat and this he did just leaving behind a little sad head with no body!!

by Ivor Hook

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.