“You know how birds are the descendants of dinosaurs?” Hector asked me as we skulked behind some trees. We were watching a green heron fly low over the water of the Anacostia River. It landed on a splintered piece of log which was stuck in mud on the shore of Kingman Island – not far from where we stood.
“Yes?” I replied, not taking my eyes off the green heron, who was gazing intently at the water.
“I’m not sure why, but when I look at this small heron, I feel like I can see it was once a dinosaur. Do you see what I mean, Bernice?”
The green heron made its move. It struck its head into the water and when it came up again, the bird had a fish in its beak. The bird swallowed the thing whole, moving its neck and body in an ungainly way as it did so.
“Oh, you are so right! This bird looks positively prehistoric! Not that that’s based on anything properly scientific. But I do see what you mean, Hector.”