It's near impossible to determine the sex of many birds, so this fledgling dove bears the neutral name of Jac(k), its spotter and co-rescuer. Blessed with feline charm (or perhaps the luck of a spoonrabbit's foot), the young bird waddled under and between the wheels of passing trucks before an abrupt U-turn near the levée of Kranji Reservoir broke its streak and brought the pigeon to the dubious refuge of a sad duck and dogged wanderer.
We have the bird to thank for leading us to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, a pitstop with the means and men to care for it. And though the dove'd probably not approve, our reward for a unplanned roundabout came in the form of a viper at the end of the main bridge. Coiled on the bough of a young mangrove tree within reach of casual briskwalkers, the foot-and-a-half-long serpent found itself the subject of intense attention that wavered between intrusive curiosity and unspoken care.
There was never a doubt about its ability to maim, but neither was there undue fear and cowering fright towards a creature whose steely gaze never quite betrayed its temper or withheld its tolerance. Still, we were the ones who blinked and backed away before a beast with the power to entrance and entrap with a fluid grace that lends a sense of scale to the menace of a day of mayhem in the marshes and crossbowed misadventure.