Ginger's Journey
by Jeff Harris

dog and upended turtle

The early morning sun rushed through Ginger’s blinds and woke the sleeping pup. She sprang up and ran to the window. The day looked perfect.

“Nanny’s Farm, here I come!” she barked excitedly.

Ginger ran to the kitchen, quickly ate breakfast, and then headed out the door. “Ginger! Wait!” her dad called.

“Remember.” Dad said, “Stay on Lakeview Lane until you get to Nanny’s Farm. Go straight there and be home by supper. No later, okay?”

“Okay, Dad,” replied Ginger.

Ginger’s friend Betty, a bluebird, was sitting on the driveway fence. “Betty,” Ginger called out, “do you want to come to Nanny’s Farm with me today?”

“Sure, Ginger, I’d love to” replied Betty. The two sped off.

Along the way they reached a small pond, Ginger saw a turtle lying on its back, kicking its legs. That’s odd, she thought, but she was in such a hurry that she didn’t stop.

She did stop for a drink of water. Then, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted something flopping around on the beach. She pranced over and found a small sunfish.

“How come you’re not in the pond?” asked Ginger.

“Well,” said the sunfish, “my brothers and I were playing tag. Harry was chasing me. Just before he tagged me, I jumped—right out of the water and onto the beach.”

“My mom told me not to go too close to the shore. I didn’t listen. Would you please help me?”

“Sure, but I’m in a big hurry,” said Ginger.

With a gentle push of her paw, she sent the little fish back into the water.

“Thanks!” yelled the sunfish. “You saved my life. My name is Samantha. What’s yours?”

“Ginger,” she barked to her new friend.

As she ran down the lane, Ginger thought about the turtle she passed earlier. She wondered if it was in trouble.

“Betty, remember the turtle back there? It might need help. I’m going to go check,” said Ginger.

“You’d better not. Your Dad told you to go straight to the farm,” replied Betty.

It would only take a minute to see if everything was okay, Ginger told herself. She turned around to check on the turtle.

“Hey there, are you ok?” Ginger asked.

The turtle replied, “Well, no, not really. I can’t get back on my feet to get to the pond. Can you help me?”

“Sure” said Ginger and with a nudge of her nose flipped the little turtle back onto her feet.

“Thanks,” said the turtle, “my name is Tiffany. What’s yours?”

“Ginger. Now I have to get going. I have a big day ahead me.”

Then the pup ran back to Lakeview Lane.

After all this excitement, Ginger sat down to enjoy the warm summer sun. Betty flew down and joined her.

Just then, they heard crying coming from the woods. Ginger wondered who was crying.

She went to investigate. Betty kept a lookout.

As she entered the woods, the crying grew louder. She kept walking until she came to a baby robin lying on the ground.

“Hold on there, little one. What’s the trouble?” asked Ginger.

Still whimpering, the baby robin explained that her parents were gone. They were hunting for food.

“Mama warned me not to play near the edge of the nest. But I did. Now I am in real trouble!”

Ginger knew she had to help the little bird.

“My name is Ginger. What’s yours?”

“Ruby,” sniffled the robin.

“When will your Mom or Dad be home?” asked Ginger.

“Not ‘til dark” said Ruby.

“Ugh,” groaned Ginger, “I have to think about this.”

She sat down by the little bird and thought, and thought…. and thought…. and thought….

Suddenly, Ginger sprang up.

“Stay here, Ruby. I have an idea.”

Ginger quickly ran off into the woods. Moments later she returned carrying a long tree branch. She laid the branch across a nearby log. It looked like a see-saw.

She then told Ruby, “Sit here on this end. You’re going for a ride!”

Ginger raced towards the log and jumped on the other end. Ruby went flying.

“Weeeeeee!” squealed Ruby, as she landed safely, back in her nest.

“Bull’s eye!” yelped Ginger.

“Thanks, Ginger, you’re a great friend.”

“Any time,” said Ginger. “Now, I have to get going.”

Ginger pranced out of the woods, proud that she helped Ruby.

“Way to go Ginger!” said Betty.

“Thanks, Betty,” said Ginger.

As the two set out for the farm, Ginger noticed that the sun was starting to set.

“Ohhhh noooo! It’s late! It’s almost suppertime. We’d better head home,” moaned Ginger.

Betty knew Ginger was right. So off they went, this time back toward home.

As they reached the house, Betty flew off to her nest. Ginger ran right past her parents, straight to her room. Tears rolled down her face.

Dad came to her room and asked, “What’s the matter, Ginger? Did something happen at the farm?”

“No” sobbed Ginger. She told him about her day.

Dad thought for a moment.

“Ginger, don’t cry. That’s an awesome day! I’m very proud of you. From now on every trip you make to the farm will be even better, I promise.”

“What do you mean?” asked Ginger.

“You’ll see,” said Dad. “Now, let’s eat supper. I bet you’re starving.”

After supper, Ginger and her parents sat in the front yard. As the sun slowly went down, Mom said to Ginger, “Why don’t you go to Nanny’s Farm tomorrow?”

“Really?” asked Ginger.

“Yes, and don’t forget to stop by and visit your new friends along the way,” added her Dad. “Now, off to bed.”

From that day on, Ginger visited her new friends Samantha, Tiffany, and Ruby every time she went to Nanny’s Farm. And her dad was right. Each and every time she saw her new friends, the journey to Nanny’s Farm was better and better.

The End

copyright Jeff Harris 2009

Jeff lives in Wisconsin, USA.

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