Requisites: A pair of wide, light, wings that work; all-weather feathers with full water resistance; a keen eye with ‘diffractive optics’ to allow for the bending of light in the water; a medium-long, sharp beak preferably with serrated edges; a pair of thin legs; and, naturally, a water body with fish. If you’ve got the apparatus ready then, let’s get started!
Uncle Grey dispenses the recipe for fishing success through step 1 thus:
“Pick your target, fly in parallel to the water, calculate the impact point allowing for diffraction, align yourself about 30 degrees ahead of the quarry, and then jettison your body swiftly leg-first such that the beak will hit the water surface at the intended impact point. Then prepare for the water to hit your belly like a brick wall, while hoping fervently that the fish hasn’t moved.”
“In step 2, my dear human friends,” he continues, “taking care not to cause a splash (here’s where thin legs help), penetrate the water and grab the fish with your beak, while your eyes are kept above the surface with beating wings. Women, with their naturally svelte lower limbs, are at an advantage here, while men are warned that this operation is not very good for their fertility.”
“After this ball-busting manoeuvre, if you have still managed to keep the wind in your sails, as a logical next step you should rise, fish in beak, immediately. For, even though the fish might take umbrage at your forcefulness and rightfully consider this brusque separation from the water quite rude on your part, it is enormously impractical to linger in the water waiting for the fish to sing its swansong and bid its tearful adieu to its kith and kin.”
“After completing this phoenix-type move, in the conclusive step, my fellows, you must take a run and then fly leaving but an artistic blob in the water for effect. If, by Golly, you drop the fish into its aquatic home after all this hard work, dejectedly kick yourself in mid-air while loudly uttering such self-deprecatory expletives like “nincompoop” and enroll into a cricket academy before returning to step 1. But if you hold on to your prize, fly ashore and enjoy the meal at peace.
And in case you’re wondering since when a heron began fishing like a raptor and even commenced teaching it, let it be understood that you are as good as you think you are, and if you think small, you remain so, while if you see big, you may spread your wings, stretch your arms and grab the whole world, for it is yours. Happy seeing!”