It was a Sunday morning, the sky was a brilliant blue and only a few wispy clouds could be seen very high on the horizon. You could smell the earth as the sun warmed it. Earthworms worked their magic and butterflies flitted seamlessly from bush to bush. It was going to be a glorious day and Isabella was up very early and excited to meet the day.
Just a bit over four feet tall she was a bundle of energy and curiosity, always on the move. Her seventh birthday was a few short months away but seemed like a hundred years to her. At almost seven, every waking minute seemed like a year. She threw on her favorite farmer overalls, t-shirt and some very ratty old high top sneakers and was out the door before anyone else in the house was even thinking of waking.
The family garden was a magical place to her. It was about a hundred yards from the house and standing in the garden you would have a glorious look at the deep blue ocean. Waves rolled lazily in and then away from the shore. The smell of the salt water and the quiet hiss of the waves was captivating.
Isabella’s mother had cordoned off one corner of the garden just for her and today was the day she would plant the seeds she had been saving. Before she even turned the first spade of dirt she had envisioned plants of great heights and flowering fruits, all ready to eat. Seven was going to be great!
Isabella had shoulder length dark hair that was always somehow in her mouth and deep dark eyes that on more than one occasion would almost seem to double in size due to some new discovery! She had quite a few little friends but preferred the solitude of the garden with its smells, bugs, worms and daily discoveries.
Each day a sprout would emerge from the soil and become a new friend. It seemed to take half the morning as she turned the soil and planted her seeds but very little time had actually passed. Every few minutes she would fix her gaze on the ocean and dream of faraway places and fantastic adventures.
One minute a pirate ship would appear only to be replaced with the huge sails of a whaling ship and she could make out the grizzled face of the Captain, shouting orders to his crew. A pod of dolphins were playfully breaking the surface of the water and momentarily disappearing again to the depths. The wind was very slight and just enough to take the sting from the suns heat.
Having successfully planted all her magical seeds, Isabella brushed the dirt from her knees and gazed at her work with a crooked little smile of satisfaction. She skipped to the open gate and once outside, carefully closed it and made sure the latch was caught so as not to leave any chance that some of the furry creatures living nearby would wander in and make a meal of her hard work.
The morning was still young and so many different things to do today. Her mind was buzzing with new ideas and plans. She headed for the bluff above the water and found a spot in the tall sea grass and plopped down crossed legged. She grasped a piece of the grass stuffed it in her mouth and began wagging it back and forth with her tongue. She watched the few clouds that there were and found an airplane in one, a fierce dragon in another and a dog in yet another.
Suddenly there was a ruckus from below. She was on her feet in an instant and ran to the cliffs edge. Hundreds of feet below she saw the biggest surprise of her young life! There at the edge of the beach was the most magnificent creature she had ever seen. It was a right whale, stranded, half in and half out of the water.
He had to be a thousand feet long and maybe fifty feet high. The poor thing was in great distress and could not remove his body from the beach. He was calling to the others close by and the sound was heartbreaking to her. She could see several others swimming back and forth keeping watch and seemingly trying to console their mate.
Isabella turned from the cliff and ran as fast as those ugly sneakers would carry her. She ran to her house jumping over a rock and toys strewn about the yard. At the back door she almost went through the screen while trying to get inside and all the time screaming for her mother.
Honey; what is the matter, her mother sputtered with a look of great concern?
Mom, you have to come with me now!! As quick as she had come in she was headed back out beckoning her mother to follow quickly. Every few feet she would turn to make sure her mother was close behind. Closing in on the cliff with her mother right on her heels she shouted, Look, Look!
As mom got to the edge all there was to see was the beach. The creature somehow had managed to free himself and was swimming to freedom with his group half a mile out to sea.
Isabella breathlessly related the entire morning to her mother, not leaving out one single iota of information. She was so excited. What an adventure today had been, never, ever to be forgotten.
Her mother put her hands on Isabella’s little excited face, smiled and kissed her.