Today, Xiaolong is sitting by the water, her head stuck in a big book. She seems to be so engrossed in whatever she’s reading that she doesn’t notice you approach – which is so unlike her!
You sit down at a comfortable distance away from her – you know that some people don’t like to be interrupted when they are reading! – and decide to take in the sights and smells and sounds of The Quiet Pond.
Finally, Xiaolong takes the leaf by her side and inserts it in between the book’s pages. “Hello friend,” she says, closing the book gently. “I got really into my book and didn’t notice that you had arrived! Sorry, friend.”
You smile and ask how she is. To be honest, Xiaolong doesn’t quite look like her perky self – her gills are a little droopy, she doesn’t have that bouncy energy that you usually notice right away, and her eyes don’t have their usual mischievous glimmer.
“I’m okay, friend!” says Xiaolong, who gives you a big grin. “Well, actually.” Her smile falters a little bit. “I’m a little behind on everything. The Quiet Pond may be quiet but it’s also a lot of work, and sometimes I get a little stretched thin.” She gives you a small smile. “I suppose I am burning out.”
You listen, nodding along to what she’s saying. What about a break? you ask.
Xiaolong tilts her head. “But… I can’t take breaks! I have so much to do at the Pond and everyone is depending on me!”
You smile. You understand how that feels. You tell Xiaolong that she isn’t alone in feeling this way, but even super-axolotls and Keepers of the Ponds need a rest too, especially if they are burned out.
Xiaolong considers this for a moment. “I think I needed to hear that,” says Xiaolong. She gets a little teary, realising how tired she is. “I think I need to take a break.”
Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, friends! Welcome back to the Pond.
As you may have guessed from your talk with Xiaolong, The Quiet Pond is going to be taking a little bit of a break. Running The Quiet Pond has been such a pleasure – but it’s also been a big task that can get pretty draining sometimes! Read More »