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Rated: E · Fiction · Nature · #2185163
Time on the river with Dad
You must write in AND choose Nature as one of your genres, and END your story or poem with this line ... bolded:

Paddling the canoe down the river, I finally understood what Dad meant.


1968:
“Oooooh, Daddy; look at the small deer over there!”

“Yes, Cupcake; that’s a fawn.”

“Daddy, can we row closer? I wanna see it up close.”

“Not right now. I have to get us home so I can go to work.”

“Uh...okay. It looks so pretty, though.”


1978:
“Dad, remember when we used to catch tadpoles alongside the river...and see fawns like that time when I was small?”

“Yes, that was a long time ago.”

“i wonder why we don’t see them anymore.”

“Well, a lot of things could cause that.”

“Like what, Dad?”

“Oh, you know, maybe they moved to another place. Anyway, we have to get back; I have to go to work.”


1988:
“Dad, remember when there were trees along this stretch of the river? I wonder why they’re thinning out; don’t you? And what happened to the deer?”

“Honey, life is always changing. Why all the questions?”

“It’s not a lot of questions, Dad. I’m just concerned that the trees seem to be dying...and the deer aren’t here.”

“Don’t bother your head with that. Look, we have to get back home so I can go to work, okay? It’s been fun out here on the river, but I have responsibilities, okay?”

“Yes, Dad.”

I went to the library to find out information about my father’s job because he was secretive. It took me time to find out anything; but, I did learn that his company dealt with poisonous materials. I read further and learned his company was releasing the aftermath of their processing into the river...the same river my Dad and I canoed in. I was devastated.

1998:
“Dad, why didn’t you tell me where you worked and what you were doing?”

“Darling, it’s complicated.”

“What do you mean ‘complicated’? Your company knowingly released toxic chemicals into our river. Did you know that?”

“Cupcake-”

“Don’t call me Cupcake anymore...I’m a grown woman. Tell me the truth. Did you know what the company was doing?”

“Well, not, and you have to believe me, at first. I didn’t know science...I didn’t realize what we were doing.”

“When did you finally realize it?”

“Two years ago.”

“And you stayed silent?”

“What could I do? Rat them out and lose my job? Would you have liked that? Huh? You were a child; I couldn’t do that...even though I knew it was wrong? Please, Cupcake, believe me.”


2008:
“Dad was a good man. He did what he thought was right. He cared for me, but he also shielded me from danger. It wasn’t always the humanitarian thing to do, but he did it. May he rest in peace. I love you, Dad.”


2018:
I went back to our home on the river and dug out our canoe
Paddling the canoe down the river, I finally understood what Dad meant.

Money and providing for his family was worth more than the environment.

And I cried a tear for the generations to come.
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