This short story, "Heron" by Douglas Strang, is about a boy named Findlay. It is about Findlay and the life choices he has to make, growing up and how he would like to escape from it all. Findlay is a mechanic, working in a garage in Glasgow. Findlay got the job there through a friend of his fathers. Findlay doesn't particularly want to be a mechanic by the sounds of things. Findlay seems like a bit of a quiet, rather subdued type of guy.
The Heron is set in Glasgow, in the city, and Findlay goes to popular places like Dumbarton Road, Kelvin Park, Maryhill Road, which is where Glasgow University is, and a few other well-known places. There is some "Glasgow patter" used in the story, and just a lot of slang dialect - not necessarily belonging to Glasgow, for example:.
"Da said he wasnae going to end his days in a ward in the Western".
Again here we have another place in Glasgow - The Western Infirmary, and also the slang being used accentuates the fact that it set here. Good word choice is used here, "Cascade flow" as Glasgow, and particularly the streets of Glasgow are always thought of as being busy.
The name, "The Heron" symbolises a dream. A Heron itself is an elegant and graceful bird, not really belonging in a busy city centre - this is presumably how Findlay feels. Lonely in the world, not wanting to be here, or to do the things that he does, just basically wanting to escape like this beautiful bird. It symbolises a bird because Findlay is obviously wanting out or away from this sad, lonely life. Findlay mentions the Skateboarder's in Kelvin Park quite a lot, mentioning also how he could just imagine his father's voice:.
"No son of mine"ll be seen out in the street with his arse hanging out .
Findlay knew he was no acrobat - he merely mended cars. The Skateboarders just always looked as if they were having so much fun - he was entranced - as they raced around the fountain: flipping and spinning their boards like acrobats: baseball-capped and brightly dressed, their jeans thread-bare and torn.