Diamonds are Algy’s Best Friend

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Algy is a collector of diamonds. Not those brash, unyielding, expensive rocks, once said to be “a girl’s best friend”, which human beings seem to value so highly, and for which some even risk their lives or their fortunes, but those far more precious and ephemeral gems which dance across the water of Scottish seas and lochs when the sun infuses them with life. Of course, Algy cannot collect them literally, as they elude even the most skilful and persistent captor, but he stores them in his mind, so that their brilliance can illuminate even the darkest days which may lie ahead. A creature with a head full of treasures such as these is rich indeed 🙂

The gorse was altogether too prickly for his tail feathers, so Algy hopped down to a more comfortable perch on a clump of heather which overhung the burn, and gazed at all the water rushing away to the sea. The local landscape almost always had a plentiful supply of fresh water, as there were only a few days in the year in which it did not fall out of the sky. But it was a different matter for many of the local human residents, whose water supply systems were dependent upon very basic collection facilities which routinely became blocked by storm-swept vegetation, some unfortunate frog, or even, on one occasion, an eel… In fact, it was very often the case that the more water that fell – whether as rain, sleet, or snow – the more likely it was that the humans’ homes would be without a water supply!

Have a happy weekend, everyone, with a plentiful supply of fresh water 🙂

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 down to the water’s edge and perched on a damp stone, surrounded by a thin carpet of fallen leaves. He had been visiting some dear friends, who were now returning to their home in a warmer, more sheltered land, and for a moment the dark shadows crowded in upon him across the water. But as he gazed at the shimmering surface, he realised that in fact the threatening shadows were surrounded by glistening light and patches of beautiful blue… and then he felt a wee bit better. As he watched some of the red and gold leaves drifting slowly down the river, Algy hoped that his friends would be able to drift back again to see him very soon…

Algy dedicates this post to all his friends who are parted from their own dear friends and family, and he sends you all some very special fluffy hugs xoxo

Feeling thirsty after sitting in the sun for so long, Algy went in search of a nice, cool drink. In some parts of the world it can be difficult to find fresh water, but in the Scottish Highlands there is almost as much water as there is air… So it wasn’t long before Algy found a pretty wee burn running across the moor and tumbling down the hillside. Once he had had enough to drink, Algy perched in a bush over a tiny waterfall and watched the play of light and shadow on the water as it bubbled and gurgled and swirled around before rushing down the hill to meet the sea.

After another dismally grey day, the sun came out once more, and Algy flew down to the sea. Although Algy is certainly not a sea bird, nor indeed a water bird of any kind, there is nothing he enjoys more than perching on a rock by the edge of the ocean, listening to all the sounds it makes, and relaxing as he watches the waves roll in…

Algy hopes you will all have a happy and peaceful weekend, and will be able to perch somewhere pleasant and relax 🙂