There we were, April in Paris, strolling about the Parc Montsouris. The soft morning air rich with the scent of spring blossoms and every vista a waking dream. Two snow white swans drew their likeness on the mirror surface of the lake while the minature Theatre Guignol whispered of Punch and Judy shows held amongst the beds of flowers…Then the horror! THE HORROR!
From a nearby shrubbery there emerged a duck. Now this was not the horror, nor were the 5 sweet ducklings that followed behind in perfect symmetry towards the lake. We stood entranced by this simple demonstration of spring and the wonders of creation. There in the delightful park the ducks wended their way closer to the lake.
A cyclist emerged.
He shot down the pathway as the ducks waddled in all their cuteness to cross the path to the lake. Like all cyclists this,,,what shall I call him?… “person” had lost all sign of individuality or humanity, squeezed into his vile lycra and alien head-carapace and he was oblivious to the wonder of nature unfolding before his very eyes…
Fortunately he flew past well before the duck family had reached the pathway, but I did see this as a good opportunity to draw attention to certain types of offensive cyclist poseurs.
Then it happened
The ducks waddled unscathed across the path. Just a few feet from the water before the mother duck entered little bubbles erupted on the surface of the glassy lake, the ripples merging in delightful patterns. Then more bubbles, then more…
In hopped the mother duck, making ripples of her own, then one duckling, then the next and the next, and the next.
Suddenly from the water burst a giant goldfish, the droplets cascading from its body turned by the sunlight into liquid silver, its body liquid gold.
It dropped back into the water and swam away. It was most picturesque
At that moment, from the sky plummeted a raven. Down it flew and snatched the last duckling at the very point of entering the lake. The heartless mother and other ducklings swam off, apparently oblivious to the abduction before our very eyes. Naturally we all screamed. Several of us nearly fainted and one, who never paid any attention to anything, continued to eat his Dragibus and stare vapidly into space.
Realising that I was the last hope for this poor duckling I leapt into action.
Thankfully the lush Parisian environment was conducive to the production of healthy and robust ducklings, for while the Raven may have flown off with the baby it could not get very high and I chased it up the bank, a terrifying figure, with my Italian wool scarf flying well out behind me and my burberry with the lining fully exposed.
Startled momentarily by my sartorial elegance perhaps, the Raven dropped to the ground and, thinking better of trying to rise again with the lovely, sweet, plump little duckling, shot off into the bushes never to be seen again.
The duckling, apparently unharmed, ran quickly back down the slope and jumped into the lake where it soon rejoined his family.
Thus ends this thrilling adventure. To most I was the hero of the day and all clustered about me to commend my bravery save one who claimed I had probably just destroyed the whole balance of nature.
Haters gotta hate.
About the Parc: The charming Parc Montsouris can be found in the 14th arrondissement and should you be there in the late spring on a fine day you cannot but be delighted. Opening in 1869, Parc Montsouris formed part of the grand plan of Baron Haussmann to provide the Parisians four major public parks located at cardinal points of the compass around the city. It is peculiar due to the fact that it is designed as an “English Garden” attempting to replicate unspoiled nature, devoid of the artificiality of formal gardens of the past.