Ah! A classic children’s film about a Londoner who thinks it’s a good idea to buy a pet otter, then has to move to rural Scotland for the sake of the otter (no doubt really impressing the local crofters with his otter-raising skills), only to have the now-humanised otter beheaded by a ditch-digger who thinks it’s just another salmon-guzzling, local-economy-ruining pest and not an extra-special pet otter.
The death of Mij in this film is one of the most clear and abiding memories from my childhood, and I’ve been waiting to write about it. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt to write a sonnet seems the ideal opportunity to take a first attempt.
Ring Of Bright Water
I ask you now, where did it all go wrong?
When did our innocence first run awry?
Was it when they snipered Bambi’s mom,
And made a real stag out of a cutesie-pie?
Or was it with that bloody Bright Eyes song?
The fuzzy-felt Guevaras of the Down?
Mushroom-tripping myxoma-toasted throng,
Sending the whole of Year 6 into meltdown?
Mine went with a tame otter’s scampering run,
The workman raising up his heavy spade,
A sense of fate so forceful that it stunned,
As vivid as the thudding of the blade.
Perhaps it’s best for childishness to end?
Wild animals are neither pets nor friends.
9 thoughts on “Ring Of Bright Water”
I know how you feel. I’ve never forgotten that scene.
I’m loving all the otteriness (is that a word? It is now!) and this is no exception. Off to read all of your selections from the beginning now 🙂
One of my favourite fims ever. I showed it to my children and they all wept buckets too. Thoughtful tribute.
I love your poem. I “otter” read more of your stuff. I think I will.
Thanks Mary! There are 23 of the pesky critters up there, so good luck with getting through them 😉 For poems that aren’t about otters, I have a collection now out with Burning Eye Books – http://burningeye.bigcartel.com/product/the-trouble-with-compassion
Big thanks for your kind comment x
I have a copy of the book at home which I haven’t yet read. Now I shall. A very beautiful and troubling sonnet!
Congratulations on being featured poet!
Thank you so much, on both counts. I was delighted and surprised to be featured! I hope you enjoy the book – Gavin Marshall went on to be a naturalist and otter-keeper for many years, and mentor to the much-loved TV naturalist Terry Nutkins, who had two fingers bitten off by otters!
Mr. Marshall sounds amazing.