The Big Catch

by Gina Ramer | Jul 1, 2022 | 0 comments

Great Blue Heron eating Northern Pike
Great Blue Heron eating Northern Pike. Photo © Lelund Shaum.

The morning was beautiful as Mr. Heron made his merry way to the swamp called “Shining Waters.” He was hoping to satisfy his growling stomach.

He lazily padded along the water’s edge, gazing into the water. Every so often he’d pick up his head to glance about for danger signs. But he wasn’t too worried about that, for he was King Bird and could outdo anyone!

Finally, he stepped into the cool water amongst some snapped-off cattails. Mr. Heron peered intently at each one as if they held some mystery for him. Then he stopped and watched the water for awhile for any movement. Some little fish came closer and closer to him, but they quickly swam away again. More daring fish started playing circles around him, but still Mr. Heron stood there as silent as a mouse. He observed them, but they all seemed too small for him. Everything was still; even the wind had stopped.

Mr. Heron’s patience was rewarded as a gigantic northern pike swam in. The bird’s eyes grew. Never ever in his life had such a big fish come that close to him! He waited tensely as the fish swam under his nose. Suddenly a splash broke the silence. His aim was accurate as he triumphantly speared the struggling northern pike.

The surprised and angry Mr. Fish fought savagely for his life. How he hated this enemy who had spoiled his peaceful morning. Oh, to be free! He flapped his fins harder and harder, but by no means was his captor ready to let his long-awaited prize go free!

Mr. Fish was getting wearier and wearier. Were all his efforts in vain? How humiliating to be caught by a mere bird who was no threat! Or so he had thought!

Now he was being squished tightly, more tightly than he had ever been before. What was this narrow, dark passage he was entering? Where did it lead? What a desperate feeling! He squirmed with all his might and flapped his mighty tail. No way did he agree to enter this dark world, but he really had no other choice.

Meanwhile Mr. Heron was having his own trouble. What was the trick to getting this irritating thing down his throat? It stretched beyond its normal size like a blacksnake eating a squirrel. Mr. Heron tossed his neck this way and that. He swallowed and swallowed. His neck hurt, and it wobbled back and forth because the fish was flopping mightily.

He was totally unaware that he was being photographed by some amazed spectators who had gone on a bird trip that day. Suddenly his yummy breakfast was down and the fish was dead! Not only had he won a battle, but he also had filled his stomach to last him awhile. He tramped back into the forest, hardly believing his good fortune!

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