Aug 8, 2005

The Triumphant Return of Bob The Egret!


No, I'm not infested, but my drawers are. My lateral file drawers at work.

We're being steadily innundated by crickets. They're hiding in every room, under every box, and now they're in my lateral file. Each time I opened it today I saw one more cricket, until it seemed I was emeshed in some sort of really horribly slow B-grade horror flick. I kept waiting for one of them to, upon my opening the drawer, hand me the doctor's file I was looking for.

We've got a lot of crickets. But where does Bob The Egret enter the story? Right here! See, egrets eat black crickets.

You guys know I spend a lot of time in the field, cutting. You also know the egrets attend me, because generations of them have realised that I and my tractor are nothing more than a really big, really foul-smelling, really truly loud cow, and my passage through the field stirs up a tremendous cloud of insects which opportunistic egrets with strong hearts and fast legs can feast upon. And they do. And amongst the clouds of egrets that attend my every tractor trip, one egret stands alone.

Bob The Egret.

Bob is a loner. He's a loner mostly because the rest of the egrets don't want anything to do with him. Egrets, when danger approaches, make a sort of hoarse croaking sound as a warning. Bob is the egret that always hollers the emergency signal at precisely the wrong time, like when I am in fact turning the tractor AWAY from the flock in general.

Egrets have an unconscious grace when they fly; tucking their long necks into their bodies and holding their feet out behind them, making their body into a graceful keel with their feet serving as rudders. They sail around with barely an effort while airborne. When they land, they cup their wings and glide their landings into long, elegant parabolas, only flapping their wings at the last second to settle them gently into a perfect two-point landing. Bob, however, picks out his landing spot from three thousand feet up, points his beak at it, and simply stops flapping. His dive is fast and furious, and is slowed at the last moment by fierce, feather-tearing flaps, and his landing is usually accompanied by a loud "thump," like the noise you get when you throw a few pounds of meat and bone at the ground as hard as you can.

When Bob presents himself, the other egrets sort of quietly and discreetly make a big clear space around him. I swear you can almost SEE them whispering being their wings. "Oh geeze, there's Bob. Come over here, duck your head..." When other egrets are catching insects with precise stabs of their sharp beaks, Bob is busy trying to get his beak unwedged from the rotten tree trunk he's gotten it stuck into. Bob seems to exist solely to show the other egrets how NOT to be an egret.

So who should appear today at work but Bob The Egret. Seems the field next door to the office had been raked and baled, and the egrets were out in force, picking the field clean of katydids and grasshoppers. And Bob, being ever the adventurer, the piper at the gates of dawn, Bob was over at our office, checking out the DOO's Ford pickup truck.

While sitting at my desk there at the front door, I'm accustomed to having my eye caught by flashes of colour out on the interstate. I usually glance up, see what caught my eye, be it a Goldwing or a truckload of boats going to market, but the eyecatchers are usually at eye-level for me sitting down. It's not usual to have my eye caught by movement a foot off the front porch, but it happened. My eye was caught first by a yellow spear of a beak, then a dainty head, then the subtle curve of a body propelled along in a sort of pimp-walk by two spindly black legs.

Bob came ambling along the front like he was about to open the front door and inquire about home health services for an elderly great-aunt. He was making out like a bandit too, eating the numerous crickets that litter the front porch. I scared him off when I got up to get a closer look, but being Bob The Egret, he wasn't about to let a little thing like a human with a camera phone disturb him from his repast. He came right back, and I managed to capture him in his waddling glory from behind the door frame.

It's good to know that my dear friend Bob The Egret is still hanging about, being...well, being Bob.


Anonymous said...

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Vulgar Wizard said...

I see "anonymous" thinks you should check out his/her wedding blog . . . you planning on marrying Bob the Egret anytime soon?

Bob is wee-tod-did.

Oh, anonymous would also like to point out the differences between the PS3 and the XBox360 in case you and Bob the Egret were in a dispute over the matter.


renegade said...

What is the lifespan of an egret anyway? I Bob's been around an amazing span for a life form so silly.

Irrelephant said...

The average lifespan of a silly egret is quite long, actually. See, being silly means he lacks for a mate. Lacking for a mate means no women in his life. No women in his life means that he's going to have a full span of years to enjoy the peace and quiet in.

*ducking for cover*