The river doesn’t take many days off. It works harder some days and takes it easy others, and sometimes quits altogether. But it’s mostly steady.
I thought I’d go down to the river, but as I neared its gentle bank I started floating, drifting with the wind.
Mr. Bojangles danced below and I wooted, but he said I was being lazy, only imagining him while Neil sang him. He waved his hand and I tumbled end over end to the other side of the river and got caught in a tree.
I sat in the tree for a bit, listening to the birds, and had a chat with a squirrel. The squirrel’s name was Atkins and he asked me if I had been finding any good nuts lately. I said no. He suggested a nearby oak grove and beckoned me to come along. He waited impatiently as I slowly climbed down. Then to the grove, and he was right: So many good nuts. But I just laid on the grass, watching Atkins and another squirrel named Fletcher as they gathered acorns and occasionally shook one to check for suitability of purpose.
Presently I grew restless and made a small raft of fallen branches and discarded Pepsi bottles, returned to the river, and pushed off.
Soon I arrived at a riverside community of flamingos, who invited me over for lunch. They had sent for McDonald’s and said there would be plenty for me. Did I mind having McDonald’s, they asked, and I said no, that would be fine.
An otter asked if he could take my raft and I nodded. Please, be my guest.
I enjoyed the McDonald’s, but the flamingos and I agreed we felt some regret after. I stayed with them for many days, living on a variety of fast foods, until I joined a group of migrating bears on their way to Guyana.
I stayed with the bears for as long as they followed the river.
continued in part two…