The Pond

Tom Brosnan, my dad,loved guns, & whenever he could get away from his business of hairdressing, they, or a fishing rod, would feature big time
It’s 1940, the war had started, & dad had a right arsenal down in the cellar.
Now I wasn’t interested in guns, but I diddn’t tell him that, as he took me with him on his outdoor forays.

Looking back, I feel, one of the greatest emerging paths in my young life, was an evening he took me duck shooting out near Green Island Beach, a beautiful place on the outskirts of Dunedin where we lived

We arrived at the pond early to get into position.
My everlasting memory , is lying in the long grass, beside my dad, taking notice of his remark, “ always keep behind the mussel of a gun “ I remember his male smell after a long days work, amongst plethora of smells from the life of the pond.

The sun dropped through the horizon, & the twilight settled over us like a soft blanket A tangy breeze wafted from the nearby breakers.
.The only light, the reflection of the sky, on the surface of the pond.
A frog croaked,& a pesky blackbird ( natures warning ) shrilled. “ Drat that bird “ mutters dad. I am in paradise

Suddenly a clutch of ducks plop onto the water out of the sky, so fast we hardly knew.
This is where I close my eyes. A shot, then another, too close to my ear for comfort. You know, he liked guns, but, did he really want to kill.
Opening my eyes, the beautiful birds were silloted against the sky disappearing into the gloaming & all is quiet again ( We are back on “Walden Pond” )

We stroll to our little James motor bike & bump our way up the cow track to home. I can only imagine, my lack of concentration at school tomorrow.

This was bliss for me, beside the pond , with my dad & I have never forgotton this evening when I arrived at the state of mind, where nature was to feature greatly in my life, & that has followed on ever since.

I feel so lucky, having had those experiences, & the chance to pass them on.