Saturday, 29 January 2011

Super toad

Last night we went to the Natural History Museum, to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award. The photos were amazing, the crowds awful - it was a sell-out with timed tickets, but I wish the museum had only issued half or two-thirds of the tickets. I hate hate hate having to queue to see a picture, having to peek over people's shoulders and feeling like I ought to keep moving on so that everyone else can get a turn.

Anyway - this is one of the runners-up in the youngest category (under 10 I think) and the only one that seemed to have come from a relatively normal kid, rather than the entrants who say 'I was on a photography exhibition in [insert extremely remote place] with my parents...' 

Put me in mind of a lovely poem by Norman MacCaig, called Toad.

Stop looking like a purse. How could a purse
Squeeze under the rickety door and sit,
Full of satisfaction in a man’s house?
You clamber towards me on your four corners –
Right hand, left foot, left hand, right foot.

I love you for being a toad,
For crawling like a Japanese wrestler,
And for not being frightened

I put you in my purse hand not shutting it,
And set you down outside directly under
Every star.

A jewel in your head? Toad,
You’ve put one in mine,
A tiny radiance in a dark place.

Except that obviously this toad had also been startled by the crowds and was doing just what I felt like...

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