We believed it to be the dark side of the pond. In the shade and the shadows. Where snakes and lizards and other unknown water creatures lurked and lay. In waiting.
We dared not go there. Ever.
It brought me back. To those days that were long and endlessly filled with wonder. When summers were magic....and when I was young enough to believe in mystery.
She perched herself at that end or that pond. Fearing nothing. Hoping for everything. Mostly - waiting to catch her day's meal. Perfectly still. Perfectly innocent. Not thinking anything.
A younger me might have imagined her a witch or a wizard or an aviary vampire sent there as some sort of secret missionary. A younger me might have made up all sorts of stories.
She might have been the queen of the kingdom of underwater creatures. She might have been a serpent-trainer....or a snake-charmer. Or - maybe - she was a powerful princess who'd come to swoop me up...and fly me away...and off into the imaginary world of Neverland.
To a place where we never have to grow up. And where - the light lingers...and time slows..and summers are filled with nothing but dreams and bottomless possibility.
I think she showed up to remind me.
We're never too young...or too old...to believe.