David Gagne and 1,048 words (text only)
Richard L. Provencher First North American
B2N 4E6 Tel (902)897-2344 PRINT Serial Rights firstname.lastname@example.org
Alpha stood with hands on hips. Omega joined him as they looked across Economy Lake.
The little island with a ring of trees looked like a pile of rocks peeking from the water. Omega pranced impatiently on the mainland called, Heavenly Acres.
They carried their green 14 foot canoe to the shore. Then it was loaded with food and snacks. Sleeping bags, camp cot and water joined the list of necessary items.
A tent and flashlight also made the journey.
When a few waves splashed over the sides, Omega became fearful.
‚Don‚t worry so much,‚ Alpha said. ‚Jesus will protect us.‚
Omega knew that, but he was still nervous.
This island adventure was his idea. It would give them a chance to explore the area.
The black flies were determined to follow them. They raced up and down their skin. Fresh blood was their prize. It was much harder for Alpha to swat them with his tail.
‚At least swishing my little tail doesn‚t threaten to upset the canoe,‚ Omega stated matter-of-factly.
Setting up their two animal pup tent went smoothly. They made sure each corner was held down with a yellow peg. Two aluminum poles in front and back kept the nylon roof to a height of four feet.
This was the first time Alpha and Omega left the forested area of Heavenly Acres. "Omega,‚ Alpha said one day, ‚We have to get away together. Just the two of us.‚ And here they were.
"Since everything's put away let's have a swim," Alpha suggested.
Faster than gulping back two hot dogs, Alpha and Omega slithered and galloped towards the shore.
They shivered through the water out to their waists. Soon it was a splashing free-for-all. Then it turned into a muck throwing contest.
Mud balls and handfuls of grassy weeds were soon flying through the air. Gooey messes landed with 'splats' on backs and chests.
This time Omega won. His back feet kicked up huge gobs and splashed them towards Alpha. Then he plopped a handful of mud and weeds on his friend's head. "Now you have some hair!" he shouted.
Hungry bellies called a truce. They washed off the mud by rolling around in the grass.
Thankfully, the wind blew just enough to keep the blackflies away. Lunch was hot dogs, juice packs and Trail Mix.
After tidying up, fishing rods were checked and life jackets put on. The sleek canoe moved easily through the water and brought them quickly to a small bay.
"I wish our friends from Heavenly Acres were here to see this," Omega said, looking around at the scenery.
"Yes," Alpha answered. He was watching a bald eagle swooping overhead. "They would enjoy it."
The water was inviting and another swim was on the menu since the day was trying to bake them. A short time later supper was finished and the sun was setting.
The night was warm as Alpha and Omega lay in their sleeping bags. "What time are we leaving tomorrow?" Omega asked.
Alpha took a few moments before answering. "Did you like the mud fight?" he asked, changing the subject.
"Yes," Alpha answered.
"Then, how about a pillow fight?" Omega swung hard as he laughed at that one. He could imagine Alpha‚s face in the darkness.
"After awhile, the tent was filled with flying feathers.
‚Aren‚t you tired?" Alpha asked.
"Hey, look through the doorway," Omega said suddenly. ‚The waves on the lake are really moving.‚ Whitecaps showed under the moon‚s shining flashlight beam, pointing right at their tent opening.
"Let‚s check it out," Alpha whispered, a little fearful of the rising wind. They left their sleeping bags and waddled and slow trotted to the shore, only a few feet away.
They stood in the glare of the moon. By now the rushing wind had whipped the lake into a frenzy. Waves rushed at the little island sending both hurrying to the safety of their tent.
Soon, their tent was shivering and shaking in the wind. Alpha and Omega cowered under their sleeping bags.
"Now this is what I call a storm," Alpha said, trying to sound brave.
"Is it as bad as when the flood covered the earth? Omega whined. How are we going to get back to Heavenly Acres?‚
Alpha fumbled for a proper answer. "I know...let‚s pray." Their requests for a safe return home went directly to Jesus.
The big Dipper stood out clearly in the sky.
Then they heard the call of a loon pierce the stillness.
"He sounds sort of lonely and happy at the same time," Alpha said. It was exactly the way Omega felt like this moment.
As they settled back in their tent, Zebra quoted words of praise from his bible classes on the Ark. His hooves clicked together with excitement.
His voice was soothing as Alpha lay in the darkness. He almost missed hearing his best friend say softly, "Jesus would never let anything bad happen to his children."
Alpha fought back tears of joy before falling into a welcome sleep. Dreaming about fun times they had on the Ark took over his thoughts.
The 'splursh' of early morning waves and other sounds traveled silently to his ears.
Alpha wiggled to a sitting position. He peered through the tent opening, his heart beating like a drum.
"Omega," he whispered.
Through the mist he saw two loons and two baby chicks only about twenty feet away.
Their strange melodies circled the tiny island. Alpha shook Omega awake. "Listen," he said, ‚it‚s beautiful.‚
Both lay quietly on their stomachs and watched. And listened.
The family of loons kept closely together. Their cries rose eerily through the dawn. There was a peacefulness about them
Then they were gone, swimming into new adventures.
Dawn was showing on the horizon.
Alpha and Omega turned and faced each other. ‚The lake!‚ they shouted together. It was smooth as glass.
"Maybe we should pray more often,‚ Alpha suggested. ‚Let‚s pack up and head for home."
It was a very relaxing trip back to the mainland. Paddles dipped easily into the calm waters.
The sky was a bright blue and the sun was shining.
From some distant bay they heard the calling of loons.
Their sounds mingled with praises Alpha and Omega were singing to their Jesus.
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Richard L. Provencher and David Gagne
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