Reach for the Light


The River Stand


“Maaa! Maaaa!” screamed Alec as he frantically ran circles around the pasture. Alec was a dark brown, gangly calf, all hooves and knees, and he was jumping up and down, looking terribly exited.

“What is it, Alec sweetie?” a large snow white, dignified cow, said to him, in a gentle tone, her voice calm, while chewing on some grass. “Maa! Berny and Benny are fighting again, in the river!” The white cow did not even pause in her perusal of the grass fronds in front of her saying, “Boys, will be boys you know.”

“But Maa!” Alec whined, “You never say anything to them! Meanwhile I’m stuck here all day, I can’t even go to the river bank.” Alec pouted as he flopped to the ground and rolled on to his back, kicking his hooves in a spectacular display of childish whining. The white cow let out a discreet moo of amusement at his antics, before coming to him and nudging him with her head.  “Now, now, dearie, they are three years older than you, you know.” She soothed him.

“I never get to do anything!” he pouted.

Just then they heard shouts, the thudding of hooves and loud moos coming their way from the direction of the river, and the mother turned her head up, while Alec impatiently jumped up bleating a greeting to his rapidly approaching brothers. They soon appeared over the hill, happily tussling with each other, while in their mouths they held their prizes. Soon they came to a halt in front of their mother, who looked on indulgently, as they presented river lilies to her. “Look Maa, there were a lot of really tasty flowers at the river today!” Berny bellowed, shoving his present in her direction eagerly. Benny followed his lead, doing the same.

Their mother smiled at them and said, “Thank you. I’m going to find your father now; you look after you brother boys. ” Then she collected their presents and turned and left them standing there.

“Aw, bull, we have to look after the kiddo, he’s not aloowed to go anywhere!” whined Benny.

Berny, as the older brother took his responsibilities more seriously and said to Alec, “Come along Al, we’ll go find a berry bush, I know blackberries are your favourites.” He nudged his little brother in the side with his underdeveloped horns and led him towards the edge of the pasture. “Coming Benny?” he cast a look at his twin. “Oh, all right.” sighed Benny, trudging after them.

The elder brothers had indulged their younger sibling for about half an hour when a young rabbit exited popped his head out of the foliage, “Berny! Benny” he yelled, “There are bulls from the northern pasture coming into your section of the river, and your cousin’s called you two down.”

“But what about Alec?” asked Berny. “It’s ok, Alec knows the way to the lower pasture, he can make it on his own, can’t you Alec?” urged Benny.

“But I wanna go with you two! Maa, told you to look after me.”, protested Alec.

“Why do you have to be such a baby Alec?”, groaned Benny. “

Alec, you know you’re allowed near the river, please go back to Maa. I’ll bring you a bunch of river lilies, ok?” interjected Berny.

With that both elder brothers turned and ran to the river banks letting out bellows of excitement as they went. Alec, stubborn and annoyed, decided to follow them. He son reached the bank and hid in the shallows, obscured by the fronds, eager to watch the fight. He stared as his brothers and cousins faced off against some unfamiliar young bulls. They were all bellowing, tossing their heads and stamping their hooves in the river bed, creating foaming ripples in an attempt to intimidate.

Alec was so engrossed in the scene playing out before him that he was unaware that he was being snuck up on himself. Suddenly he glanced up and saw gleaming golden eyes in the water, attached to what had seemed like a plank of wood, but turned out to be a lone river croc, sleeping in the shallows to lure his prey. River crocs didn’t usually come this far downstream, but today Alec had run into a bit of bad luck.

Alec bleated in fear, as he tried to back away from the croc, but his hooves got entangled in the fronds and instead he fell hooves first into the river. The bleating and thrashing got the attention of the contending bulls, and they looked towards the commotion. “Alec!” bellowed Berny and Benny in one breath, terrified to see their little under threat from a river croc. They immediately abandoned their fight to rush to towards Alec, their heads lowered and bellowing all the way. Berny, in one powerful leap, jumped over his flailing little brothers bod and faced the croc, while Benny rushed to Alec and tried to get him out of the river.

At the same time, their cousins and the rest of the Southern pasture bulls seeing the situation abandoned the stand-off to rush and help the brothers. Then, glimpsing the croc, the Northern bulls also circled around and bellowed at the croc. For once, North and South pastures stood united and the croc seeing the sheer amount of enemies turned tail and swam away.

Author’s Note: This story is written in response to a prompt,  “Kreative Kue 260 by Keith Channing.”

On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next Monday.

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  1. Enjoyed the story, Daima. I still think they’re rather brave taking on a croc, though!

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