Raindrops gently disturb the reflections of the forest on the ponds surface obscuring the image that reaches into the murky depths. Small birds skim the surface as they pursue the retreating insects. The king of pond rises slowly in case the birds drop their quarry into his realm. His eyes are tuned to ripping surface and he knows the difference between a cicada that was carelessly lost and the thousands of raindrops that replenish his kingdom. He can feel each vibration report the precise location of the disturbance. There it is. In the midst of the pitter patter of rain was a plop and then intermittent buzzing of papery wings. The olfactory system of any bloodhound was never as keen as the pond king’s. He knows the birds have dropped a cicada. He moves like a living torpedo. His scales flash as he turns and slips through the water. His mouth gapes wide as he breaks the surface drawing everything in giving him the appearance of a whirlpool. There’s a soft splash and in an instant the cicada is taken. The pond king turns once more to the base of the tree on the edge of the water and the twisted roots which are his castle.
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