What’s a ‘puddock’ when it’s at home, then?

On the Isle of Arran, a heron waits for its supper

I was so confused, listening to our grandson declaim the John M Caie poem, The Puddock, as to what a puddock actually is. I thought it must be a smarmy fish, but nae man, turns out it’s a warty auld toad! Still a tasty snack for the lurking heron, I guess.

Delighting in the creation of a couple of sonnets, in classic Shakespearean format, but in contemporary mode, for this week’s Writing Group task, I was nevertheless very taken with John Caie’s poem, and especially with the recitation. I should be so lucky to be able to read my own efforts with such panache!

I really love the way the Scots wrap their mouths around the words they speak, so that it’s as if they’re chewing their thoughts. My own vowels are flat, springing straight from the North American Midwest, uninteresting to my ears. But I’d like to think that I have a particular penchant for developing an idea and then twisting it around to stand on its head.

As in the eventual fate of the puddock, its pomposity punctured, it’s a good thing that no matter what cultural roots we might have, a strategy for skewering pretension seems to be universal. So long as we can laugh at ourselves, our mental health should be in relatively good shape.

Goodness knows I’m compelled, by my discerning family, to spend a great deal of time doing just that. I guess that brings me a kind of wry joy.

2 responses to “What’s a ‘puddock’ when it’s at home, then?”

  1. Herons don’t lurk Larry they appear out of the ether, standing on one leg in plain sight, like avian druids


    1. I like that simile, avian druids indeed! Solitary shamans eliciting fear from all within their ken.


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