Wild Canal

by Norma King
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Sunday morning bright and early
All the fishermen are gathering
Where the waters flow so slowly
Down by the old canal
Cast a line into the water
Take a seat upon the towpath
There they’ll sit for hours after
Down by the old canal
Down by the old canal

Moorhens swim into the rushes
Proud swan with her cygnets passes
Blackbirds singing in the bushes
Down by the old canal
Water vole goes scuttling by
Swallows skim down from the sky
Chasing gnats and dragon flies
Down by the old canal
Down by the old canal

Roach and perch swim in the water
Watch the pike that follows after
Hear the mallard’s throaty laughter
Down by the old canal
Heron flies up to the sky
As a boat goes chuntering by
Hear the children’s happy cries
Down by the old canal
Down by the old canal

Now the sun is going down
The fishermen return to town
And leave behind the quiet sounds
Down by the old canal
Hear the frog on the lily leaf
Hear the owl by a lock gate screech
Where the lovers come for peace
Down by the old canal
Down by the old canal
One of the attractions of canals, whether navigable or derelict, is the variety of wild-life which abounds in and around the water. With the decline of ponds and the pollution of many rivers, the canals have become important areas for the conservation of many species of aquatic plants and animals - Sleeve notes written by Pumpkin Pie (1976). It is interesting to think of how things have changed since then.

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