Little Stream could feel herself being pushed and pulled and hurried along in Big River’s watery trajectory. For the first time in her flowing life she lost track of the passage of days. Whole moons or suns got lost when she was tugged under a strong current or squeezed perilously against the river’s edges.
She began checking her outline frequently, anxious to see if any part of her had dissolved. Her color deepened to a brownish green. She was narrower and weaker than she’d been on her own, and there were bruises along her bottom and sides. She was relieved, though, to find enough of herself in the contours that remained. She gathered her drops in tight and concentrated on holding herself together.
After what might have been a few days or a week, Little began to acclimate a bit to her new circumstances. Still, she was astonished at the speed with which Big River rolled and surged. Rain swelled the sides of the river and sometimes the top waters spread onto the grassy banks. She’d experienced that before, but long, sunny days didn’t seem to slow the pace like they did in her old life. She missed her carefree life, longed for the slow and cherished quiet, but there seemed to be no way out of this relentless, watery stampede.
Moon or sun, Big River rushed, rushed, to places unknown. As Little held herself, she began to turn her attention to the other droplets that formed the writhing current. Hello, she whispered to the waters above, Good moon, to those below. Is anyone listening? Her small voice was lost in the roar. She pulled deeper into herself and grew very quiet.
One dark moonless night, Little Stream felt a nudge against her side. By now she was used to the pushing and pulling of Big’s currents, but this felt different. It came again— three little pushes, one after the other with equal spaces between them. Since the day she’d been pulled into Big River, Little was quite mindful of holding herself together lest she dissolve, and that took all of her concentration. She was very curious about this new feeling, though, so she peeled off a little of her attention and tuned in the place where she’d felt the small tap-tapping.
There it was again! A definite nudge, then a fainter tap, then nudge again. Nudge, nudge, tap tap. Nudge tap nudge.
Ha-ha-hello? She pushed the sound out with great effort, for she was used to being silent now. She listened carefully under and over and through Big River’s perpetual rumbling, but no answer came.
To Be Continued….
*You can read part one here: https://www.melindacoppola.com/?p=2930