Death of a Friend


I swim every day in our pond. The water’s like clear weak tea. Today as I prepared to dive in, a small golden snake  about a metre long with huge dark eyes, slowly undulated along the bank just under the surface of the water checking for food. There used to be a lizard—about thirty centimetres long—grey-blue, that climbed trees then, when I approached, he’d drop, sometimes ten metres, into the water with a great splash. If I disturbed him on the bank he’d race out onto the water, large feet flailing and could literally walk across the water to the middle, then he’d sink. They can swim like fishes and hold their breath for ages.

I hadn’t seen him for a few days, but noticed a terrible smell. I checked and a few metres away where my forest ends and the bare mown acres of my fat neighbour begin, there he was, one leg torn off, dead and stiff and stinking. Callously mown over by someone who doesn’t give a fig for nature. It’s hard not to wish a similar fate for him.


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