"Thanks for the drawing paper, mom," Travis said, full of excitement. "I brought my colors too."
Then he and Grandpa began their trip from NEW GLASGOW, Nova Scotia.
First, Travis drew three tall trees. Then he placed them beside the highway traveling like a ribbon through the hills. He kept them close, like friends.
Birch trees were his favorite.
He drew houses of different sizes. A cat face peeked back from an upstairs one.
Cars and trucks in his drawing went ZOOM.
His clouds looked like squiggly marshmallows. Or maybe floating as kites across a blue sky. Then he drew a bridge over a small river.
His pencil made a circle, for a little lake, where trout could swim.
After they drove into ANTIGONISH, Travis drew a huge school. "That's Saint Francis Xavier University," said grandpa.
At MOTHER WEBB'S they stopped to eat. "YUMYUM, fish and chips." After filled tummies they drove to the CANSO CAUSEWAY Bridge.
"This will take us across to CAPE BRETON ISLAND!" shouted Grandpa.
Travis drew water lines under the bridge. Then he put 'white-caps' on top of the waves. Were those eyes peeking from the water?
More clouds watched from high above.
They drove into a little town called BADDECK.
"Mr. Alexander Graham Bell lived here a long time ago," grandpa said. "He invented the telephone too!" he shouted.
"That's how I talk to you grandpa," Travis answered.
He drew THE MARGAREE VALLEY sign. Tree branches from both sides of the road covered them like a blanket.
Travis drew hills shaped like camel humps, because their road went up and down like a roller coaster.
"Cape Breton is sure high," said Travis.
On a fresh sheet of paper, Travis drew the village sign, CHETICAMP. There were many houses there with red roofs.
Grandpa said, "LES ACADIENS live here." He said it the French way. "See their flag," said grandpa, "it's red, white and blue.
Travis added a star on it. Then he painted different colors on houses. And he made the blue sea travel far away to meet the sky.
"Look! The tide is going out," said grandpa.
Travis drew a beach full of pebbles. "Don't go there in bare feet," he said.
He had children in his pictures, with circles around their mouths for words. He drew a boy holding up a huge fish.
Seagulls soared up and down in his pictures. Their beaks were long. That made it easier to catch a fish snack, or even a slice of bread.
If Travis were a seagull, he too could fly with the wind. And reach up and up, over hills and towns.
Now they drove over FRENCH MOUNTAIN. He drew faces in cars beside them. "Some visit from all over the world," said grandpa.
Travis drew places to stop and rest. Down in the valley they could see a waterfall poking from the trees.
He drew rocks on the side of the road that looked like silver dollars.
The next sign said, FISHING COVE. Travis drew a path for hikers. "It's too far for us to walk there," grandpa said.
They drove into ST. MARGARET'S VILLAGE. The hills around here were shaped like green ice cream cones. Travis drew telephone poles.
They marched like soldiers across a rocky ridge.
Travis drew a fancy hotel, called, "KELTIC LODGE." Its driveway went between tall birch trees. He painted them a bright white.
"Grandpa," Travis said, "I'm getting tired. I'm going to stop drawing, for awhile."
"Okay," said grandpa.
They drove into ST. ANNE'S HARBOUR, with a lobster restaurant. Grandpa said, "This is where we'll stay tonight."
First, Travis wanted to go fishing. Children were at the river, using long fishing poles. Soon, he had new friends.
He got to see all their fish. Wow! Travis even caught a mackerel. Then, grandpa said, "We have to go."
He had to carry Travis, who was very sleepy. The boy didn't wish to be a seagull anymore. He just wanted to be himself, Travis, a little boy.
Now he drew then painted a sunset. Travis wanted to remember everything before he went home tomorrow.
Travis and grandpa knelt together for nighttime prayers. "Thank you for today," they said.
Travis couldn't wait to show mommy and daddy his drawings. And tell them about the fun he had with grandpa, on CAPE BRETON ISLAND!
* * *
Richard & Esther Provencher 2007
My wife, Esther and I really enjoy writing. It is an excellent salve, in addition to prayers, a great wife and family during my continuing recovery from a stroke/aneurysm. You can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org re comments on our work. We live in Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada. Pray for others.