I'd read about it, even seen pictures, but never seen it in real life before--before yesterday, that is, when, just off the dock of the cabin we're renting (a very, very sweet place, I might add), Ma Van Loon* and her son or daughter (from a distance, gender still unclear) were steamboating around the channel not far off--far enough, however, so that I couldn't get a really good look. But I saw the kid, riding along, as loons normally do with the kids. But I'd never seen loon-ish piggy-backing before.
Loons are absolutely everything anyone ever said about them. Their wailing is legendary; it overpowers every other sound on the lake. It twitters and twists and mourns and yelps like something unearthly. Sometimes they seem curious as cats, but they're the world's finest swimmers, peek-a-boo masters, darlingly cute--Minnesota's finest entertainment, north country monkeys.
On land, they're worthless. Even though they've got the lowest center of gravity of anyone in the wetlands, they've got this horrifying design flaw--their feet are so far back on their body that they've got no balance. That's why Ma Van Loon* creates a life raft on her back for Junior or Missy to ride along. And, of course, it's only a flaw on land; in the water, they're perfectly agile.
Came back awhile later, and Junior was in the water, which is fine. We've all got to leave the next sometime.
This morning's thanks?--you guessed it.
*I once knew a preacher named Van Loon. Never really thought of it before, but this morning it strikes me as a absolutely hilarious name.