It was a fine September afternoon, and although the south-westerly wind felt cold, the sun was bright and the sea was full of colour. Algy decided to fly over to a spot which he especially liked – a tiny beach on the headland, which was better suited to the scale of a fluffy bird than the big beaches across the bay – and he perched there on a rock, watching the ripples wash backwards and forwards across the pale sand as the tide came in. From time to time, a shiny silver head emerged from the water, not far from his perch, and a seal smiled at him for a few moments with the light flashing off its wet skin, before it dived again and continued to explore the underwater beds of seaweed.


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…

Algy tucked himself comfortably into a cosy nook in the rock, and settled down to watch the reflections in the pool, and the gentle ripples and circles formed by the little fish as they went about their afternoon business.

While Algy was watching the activity in the water, Algy’s assistant was watching him, from the other side of the pool, and making a wee watercolour sketch of her fluffy friend ūüôā

It was supposed to be spring, but the sky was black, the air was cold, and there was very little sign of life about the place. So Algy perched on a rock beside the sleeping barnacles and limpets, and held on tight, just as they do. The wind was getting up, ruffling the tiny waves in the wrong direction as they tried to approach the shore, and Algy didn’t want to be blown into the sea by a sudden gust. He gazed at the water: some ripples went this way, some went that, and some seemed to go round in circles. Algy was fascinated by the complexity of the ever-changing patterns of motion and light, and for a while he became so absorbed in trying to watch it all that he quite forgot how cold he felt‚Ķ

Wavelets Make Perpetual Music at Algy’s Feet


After the alarms and excursions of the fire, Algy felt in need of a very much wetter and more tranquil environment. He sat quietly on a low rock at the edge of the loch, and watched the water rippling in the evening light.

          I stand, as evening shadows fall,
          And marvel at the matchless scene,
          While wavelets make, with rhythmic beat,
          Perpetual music at my feet.

[From Evening on Lake Como by John Lawson Stoddard.]