On holiday in the Reinhardswald – the forest where the Brothers Grimm wrote their fairytales – urbanwarrior asked if I wanted to come with on a canoe trip. I don’t particularly like to be on a boat, but agreed to the adventure. We paddled downstream on a sun-filled day and marveled at the beauty that can be seen on the riverbanks. It was magical to traverse under the trees, surrounded by fluttering damselflies.
We were going quite fast, when urbanwarrior saw a banded demoiselle resting on a leaf in the middle of the stream. Caught completely unaware, she was engulfed by a sudden wave. ‘Damselfly down,’ he shouted from the front of the canoe. A few seconds later I saw her. Instantly I lifted my paddle and scooped her up. We got her a towel and feared for the worst. She had lost a front leg and one of her eyes seemed to have a dent in it.
We couldn’t just leave her behind. As she was still holding on to the leaf, we made a towel-leaf-damsel-construction in my lap. At the next halting place, we took her to shore. She seemed to be doing alright, looking up at us occasionally. During the last stretch she sat safely in the middle of the canoe. She didn’t make it to the finish, though. So, we found her a quiet place among the wild flowers, and prayed for her forgiveness.