From a Full Stop to a CommaFriday 31st March 2000
After an hour or two in the studio working on the computer, I take my writing outdoors too. In my coffee break I wander down to the pond.
The Frog tadpoles have hatched, hundreds of them. They've gathered in the sunshine on the green jelly of their spawn in a mass like black vermicelli. A female Common Newt pushes through the jelly like a child wading through a roomful of plastic balls. Just the tail of a male newt sticks out from the jelly. The tail is blade-shaped, crimped at the edges and decorated with spots, stripes and bands of colour, like the pennant carried by a medieval herald.
The newts sit at the edge of the mass of little tadpoles and pick them off one at a time, like guests dipping into the seafood at a sushi bar.
Life for a tadpole starts with a large black full stop in the the jelly of the frogspawn, it progresses to a fat comma and, if it gets beyond this sushi bar stage, it swims off as a letter 'S'.
A Comma butterfly punctuates its erratic flight through the garden with a short rest to sunbathe on the green leaves of the hawthorn.