In the centre of a small hamlet, satellite to the main village: the old duck pond. Fortified by reeds, and under the watch of an aged oak leaning precariously from the edge over the water. After recent rains, the oak dips an obliging elbow beneath the high surface. There, happy ducks take rest, feet reassuringly wet. More arrive from the west, mallard and Aylesbury, circling in descent before a final drop onto the water. A chaotic flotilla assembles, like undocking yachts getting ready to race. Each waits for a turn on the comfortable bough.