We met in the usual place and wandered up to Salter’s Pool for a chilling-off after another hot and sunny day. The water was cool and silky, Horseshoe gave us a pummelling akin to trotting for ten miles bareback on a Dartmoor pony, and we were all bursting with bonhomie. Two latecomers arrived and leapt in with Queenie and Jane, while the rest of us dried off.
Then Jackie got the cake out.
The water in Salters, previously black and smooth as guinness, churned as though a carcass had been flung to a school of ravenous pirhanas. Jackie stood on the bank and extended her cake-loaded hand. Jane and Queenie emerged from the scrum together, but a passing salmon staged a dazzling leap over their heads and grabbed the cake. Queenie executed a glorious dive, but lost control on the slithery rocks and smacked into Jane before they both plummeted back to the river, crushing the salmon beneath them. Jane grabbed the cake from the jaws of the stunned fish. Jackie, fearing for her fingers, lobbed a spare piece to Queenie.
Meanwhile, the MacFamily came close to being swept away by the tsunami as they furtively gobbled brownies and flapjacks under cover of the trees on the big slab rock.
As the sun set we scoffed the last of the cake and the churning waters subsided. The lifeless salmon floated downstream on her final journey, turning stiffly in the current, glinting silver through the dark water. Jane threw a mid-stream Falling Tree Pose in an attempt to pretend she had been calmly practising yoga all along, and had played no part in the tragic death of the salmon. A final shock-wave hit her and she was tossed gracefully downstream like a branch in a winter storm. Fishy Karma.