The Pond

March 14, 2008
By Chris Snell, Beijing, ZZ

Blowing along a still, shallow pond, the cold morning breeze rolled over the grass as the troops prepared for another day’s war. The sun wasn’t up yet, but it was already light enough to see the mist swirling above the surface of the water. The recruits would have to find better hiding places before the sun came up or they’d all be killed. Slowly they started their journey for better cover.

The peaceful silence was a welcome luxury, but like all luxuries, it ended. First it was just a whistle, then a splash, then all was loosed. A tornado of fins and feathers materialized, tearing up the water and air with a wet rumble; this morning’s feeding was longer than normal.

Then, almost as suddenly as it started, it stopped. The pond was quiet again. The sightless trees hid thousands of anxious bird eyes, while the calm water disguised the ravenous fish.

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