Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Yesterday, I completed my three year study of the wild otter. It was supposed to be one year, but, as with all things ottery, it became slippery and spilled over. The wild otter inhabited me for all that time, and life will never be the same. An animal has been under my skin. At times I felt like I'd sprouted my own pelt and whiskers; I became shy and shunned human company, all I wanted to do was slide along river banks and seep into the water. The manuscript is written all over my body. I finished editing the story knowing it is in fact they who watch us, unseen, and however much we study and write, their mystery will always remain intact.

Today I'll go upriver and look for the otters again, my eye drawn along the green edges of the water, but I won't write it all down in a book anymore, as a new project is brewing.

My attention turns to the feathered company in my garden, and there they are again, my awkward muses, staring at me through the window, the semi-wild chickens I have acquired. They won't eat the food we bought them, even though it's nothing but the best- organic mixed corn - but they stare at me when I sit at the desk, with just as much interest and curiosity as I have for them.

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