Algy returned to the edge of the great sea loch, and perched on a barnacle-covered rock. The tide was sweeping in, carrying the water swiftly up towards the head of the loch, and Algy thought that maybe it was about time for him to follow it. He was beginning to feel a wee bit homesick for his own special patch of moorland and the beautiful western shore that was his home. For the moment, though, he was fascinated by the geometric patterns of light on the water, so he tarried a while longer, watching the ripples flowing, flowing, flowing…


The sun was sparkling vigorously on the sea, and the wind was ruffling backwards and forwards through Algy’s feathers as though to say it was about time to be up, up and away. It was the beginning of the West Highland summer and, like most folk at the start of summer, Algy had itchy feet… or, more accurately in his case, itchy wings. As he watched the restless play of the sunlight on the water, it seemed to him that it was time for a wee bit of adventuring…

Although he had enjoyed the view to the right and left despite the piercing wind, Algy felt that it was time to find a wee bit of shelter. So he tucked himself into a sandy hollow between the tall stems of the marram grass. From here he could look due west, straight out across the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and into the dazzling path of the afternoon sun. Although it was too early in the year for crickets, the skylarks were singing overhead, and the whole scene reminded him of the opening lines of a poem by Lawrence Raab:

          After a night of wind we are surprised
          by the light, how it flutters up from the back of the sea   
          and leaves us at ease. We can walk along the shore
          this way or that, all day. Sit in the spiky grass   
          among the low whittled bushes, listening   
          to crickets, to the whisk of the small waves …