May 16, 2007

Young 'uns

Scenic spot on the banks of the Kali river in Dandeli. Cormorants and lapwings fly past, bee-eater whizzes about, a hornbill sails from tree to tree off to my left. I'm sitting on the grass near the water's edge and I idly notice a large black shape in the water. It's roughly rectangular, about 6 ft x 3 ft, just a couple of feet from the edge, like an oil slick except it's underwater.

Still idly, I wonder what it is, then forget about it.

Later, walking with a little person in the shallows, we notice a few tadpoles also in the water, leaping away if we get close. A thought comes to me suddenly (it happens, believe me), and I walk the few steps to where the apparent oil slick is. It has now morphed from a rectangle into a rough fish shape. I look more closely and my suspicion is confirmed: it is made up of these tadpoles.

Thousands of them, there must be. Just sitting there.

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