Jennifer Demeter 2009
Millie the duck sat on the bank of the pond, looking quite sad.
“What’s wrong, Millie?” Otto the otter said, scampering up the bank toward her.
“I’m quite sad, Otto. Everyone looks like they’re having such fun in the water. Everyone but me.”
“Well come on then, Millie!” Otto said, giving her a large smile. “We’d love to have you join us!”
Millie shook her head, a tear rolling down her cheek. “I can’t, Otto. I’m afraid.
“What are you afraid of, Millie? All your friends are out there! Beaver, Frog and Turtle too!”
“I don’t know how to swim.” Millie whispered.
“That’s silly. I thought all ducks knew how to swim.” Otto said, scratching his head in wonder.
“Not this duck.” Millie said sadly.
“Well, that’s not a problem!” Otto said brightly. “I’ll teach you to swim!”
Millie looked up at her friend, a smile coming to her face. “You will?”
“Of course I will! Let’s go!”
So Otto and Millie made their way to the shallow end of the pond. Otto jumped into the water easily, but Millie hung back.
“Come on, Millie! The first thing you have to do is get your feet wet!”
So Millie walked slowly into the water. But when it hit her ankles, she stopped.
“It’s cold, Otto!” She cried, shaking from head to foot.
“It will get better! Come in, you can do it!”
And with Otto cheering her on, Mille stepped further into the water, until soon the water lapped at her belly. And then she was floating.
“Otto! I’m doing it!” Millie cried, flapping her wings in joy.
“You’re floating, Millie! Now you have to kick your feet.” Otto moved his hands in a front and back motion, encouraging Millie to do the same.
And before Millie knew it, she was swimming. She swam around the shallow end, then she grew braver and swam to the middle of the pond. All her friends yelled and called out in joy as Millie finally joined them in their fun.
After hours of playing in the pond, Millie and her friends sat on the bank sharing a picnic lunch of carrots, grapes, crackers and peanut butter and jelly.
“Thank you, Otto. I never knew how much fun it was to swim.”
“And now you do. Remember Millie; don’t be afraid to try something new.”
Millie smiled and thought of what she would try tomorrow.