A Boat Ride

A Boat RideAheavy July rain soaked everything in the town of Summer. Pools formed in the low places, connected by rivulets of runoff. Perfect timing to try out the canoe Asarum had just carved from a tree limb!

As soon as the downpour ceased, Asarum pushed the boat into the raging current. He soon found that he couldn't control his canoe at all, and simply clung to the seat as best he could. This was terrifying but fun!

The rivulet began to widen and then poured out into the street. He just missed getting hit by a car! Fortunately, the current stayed to the curb, creating rapids periodically as the water rushed over piles of debris. He kept his head low to avoid getting knocked about by bits of litter that jostled against the canoe. As a result, he didn't notice that his boat was careening toward a storm drain.

He suddenly felt the little craft take a sharp turn to the left as it followed the water on its way to the sewer! He just had time to fly out of the boat before it tumbled down and away. His wings were so wet from the spray that he began to tumble back down himself. Asarum grasped the metal grate of the storm drain to keep from being swept away. But now he risked being drowned, as he couldn't keep his head out of the oncoming torrent. Using all his strength, he fought the current to claw his way up the grate. He hadn't gone far when he felt something soft and furry instead of hard and metallic. He pulled himself up and along this until he found himself on the back of a small mouse, who was also struggling to survive the rushing water.

The exhausted Asarum knew he had to save not only himself, but this little rodent. "Listen," he shouted above the roar, "I'm going to stand on your back to dry my wings just enough to fly away. Then I'll come back with something to save you. Hang on!" The fairy fanned his wings rapidly, shaking off the water. They would never be able to dry with all the spray hitting them, but if they could just take him up to the curb he would be okay. The quickest route to the curb was to head directly over the drain, but if he fell he would be swept away at once. The mouse was gulping for air and he had to chance it. He launched himself as hard as he could up and away. He just managed to reach the curb, but slipped when he landed. He held on by his hands, dangling above the tumbling water. Flapping and scrambling, he hauled himself up again and crawled away from the edge.

Asarum wanted nothing more than to rest and regain his strength. But there was the matter of the mouse. The fairy looked all around for some way to save him. He began pushing sticks and leaves over the curb, the bigger the better. Some of them caught on the grate to form a dam, and more debris piled up so that the river began to turn into a lake. The result was that the mouse was soon underwater, but now without the current he could let go of the grate and swim. The fairy threw him a large piece of bark, which the mouse climbed atop. Asarum's wings had dried enough that he could fly out and push the mouse to the curb. The two lay there, exhausted and grateful.

"You know," said Asarum, "I think I may not tell my parents about this part of my adventure."


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