(from Thought of a half-Craig by
"What a broad, sparkling river it was! How
stately it lay between the high green paddocks, how flat and
unhurried it seemed! How like a pane of glass! In reality the water
was moving at a swift pace, but Craig was not to know it, for the
smoothness of the river's surface concealed the steady rush that
went on below from all but the closest observer. He saw the edges of
this great supine body creeping away into the fields where water
turned the ground to a rich and fertile stew. His footprints had
filled with water even though he was not standing at all close to
its source. Where did this leakage end? he wondered, and he was not
surprised to notice that no farmer has built their home in the area.
The river went where it pleased and recognised none of the claims
that were made on its body. "I will learn from its philosophy,"
... At its terminal part, the river swelled
into a circular lake and fell still. One thousand tiny streams ran
away into the ring of grass that guarded its edges. No family made
its home in this marsh and even the farmers hesitated to claim it
for farmland, for were there not places where the mud could hold you
firm until you died? Indeed, and there were areas where a grown man
could be sucked under entirely and die of suffocation in that morass, over which the insects set up a thin noise of seething."
Geographical note: the West Drosophilia is an
offshoot of the Fly River which forms the boundary between the
North-West and the Falling Hills. It runs westward above the
Wandering Woods. The lake Immanuel mentions lies a short way beyond
the Woods and is known as the Humming Pool. The River is easy enough
to pick out on our map of
Umbagollah even though we have not marked with its name.