Algy looked more closely at the river and the stones and the autumn leaves, and soon discovered that he was surrounded by a range of wonderful colours. Even the shadows on the water were really a deep indigo blue, not a dreary black after all, and the carpet of fallen leaves had a range of hues from green to gold to red and orangy-brown. When he realised that what had seemed at first like a depressingly dismal scene actually contained all the colours of the rainbow, Algy smiled a surprisingly fluffy smile and felt a lot happier.

But he had heard that one of his friends who was travelling had caught a nasty virus and was feeling very poorly, so to cheer her up – and anyone else feeling sick today – Algy recited this wee poem. He hopes that you will all be going out to play again very soon 🙂

“I cannot go to school today,“
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more – that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut – my eyes are blue –
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke –
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is – what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is… Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

[Algy is quoting the children’s poem “Sick” by the 20th century American writer Shel Silverstein.]

Algy flew into the old oak wood and found himself a perch among the leaves of a massive Atlantic Oak. The trees were all dressed in their finest spring green, and the leaves rustled gently in the breeze. Before long a robin started singing from another branch nearby, and so Algy happily joined in the annual song of the ancient woodland…

The woodlands bordered the loch, and in some places the ground dropped away steeply towards the water. Algy found himself a new perch in a twisted oak tree at the top of a slope, where he could relax and watch the play of light and water through the new spring leaves of the trees lower down the hillside. All around him, the woodland birds were singing their spring songs, and rustling among the leaves and on the mossy ground below as they went about their business. It was a lovely spot in which to while away a Sunday afternoon, and Algy hopes that you too will find such a beautiful spot in which to relax and rest :))

Although the river was beautiful, it lacked the soft intimacy of the wee burn which joined it. Algy was fascinated by the clear, shallow water sparkling over its dark bed of stones and peat, and by all the green ferns and mosses which thrived in the damp environment. There were so many tiny details to study; every part of the burn and its banks seemed alive and busy.

Listen to the sounds of the burn, with the river in the background, just as Algy heard them …