Gulliver's Travels Revisited

 Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels"

Remember the animated movie “Gulliver’s Travels” based on Jonathan Swift's story?  
There was going to be a war between the Lilliputs and the Blefuscus, and all because of a fierce disagreement about a wedding song. The wedding was to be between Lilliput’s King Little’s daughter, Princess Glory, and King Bombo’s son, Prince David.  King Little wanted the song “Faithful” while King Bombo wanted the song “Forever”.  “Faithful!”  “Forever!”  “Faithful!!”  “Forever!!”  "It’s war!!!" They shouted in unison.

Gulliver acted as mediator and peace-maker by suggesting they combined both songs to make “Faithful Forever”.  The two kings had to think about this for a while. Finally they agreed.

The wedding took place, and a memorable and festive occasion it was. 

Today with wars here there and everywhere, we need another Gulliver. Maybe a dozen. The author's name of Gulliver’s Travels was Swift, but few of us are swift enough to get his message up to that “penthouse” of ours.   One human being with ill-will (especially politicians) can cause great pain and damage to millions.  Add to that nowadays, the environment.  Almost reaching a point of no return for both the human family and all that grows and lives on this minute sphere orbiting and speeding in deep space.

Where oh where is Gulliver when we need him?

Henri van Bentum


Springtime Neighbours of the Feathered Kind

With all the doom and gloom of front-pages it’s a breath of fresh air to have once in awhile something special.  In this case, Mother Nature is providing the happy interlude. James Bay, Victoria is not what you’d call a concrete jungle. More of a village. Most houses have little gardens. There are a few high-rises of 8 stories or so, but happily they are in the minority.
The front of the house where we live has a lawn surrounded by beds of flowers and plants.  Amongst them is a hollyhock.

Now here comes the ‘something different’.  Under the hollyhock leaves, nestled against the porch wall, quietly sits a mother Duck on her eggs.   
As if there wasn’t lots of space in the nearby parks and bushes along the waterfront.  No, she decided to nest literally at our doorstep.  We also have a family of crows, regular visitors to the front lawn who according to the landlady have been ‘living here’ for several generations. But, there is more.  Now we noticed, or rather heard first, a Woodpecker, next door.  A pair have created a next right in the stucco fa├žade of a large senior’s establishment, between the second and third floors.   

When the male is not bringing food, using our binoculars we can see her sitting inside the hole.

So we can now expect woodpecker chicks and ducklings very soon, only a few steps away. Thought you’d like to hear this happy note provided by Mother Nature.

Henri van Bentum