By Nonie Creaghan
This next story was submitted
by Sandra Bunting on behalf of her mother who is no longer with us. This is a
story for children from a Stroll Through the Seasons on the Miramichi by Nonie
Creaghan. A writer of stories, poems and plays, Nonie was a journalist, working
for radio, the Fredericton Gleaner and the Miramichi Leader. She passed away in
1988 but has left behind these lovely children's stories. Her book is divided
into four villages; representing different people on the Miramichi. They were
read out over the now defunct ckmr radio, Newcastle, in the early sixties but
Meriku waved at the big white
boat until it grew smaller, and went out of sight. Her daddy would drift in the
boat in Miramichi Bay overnight to fish.
walked along the rocky shore. As she walked, she collected pretty stones, a
star fish and shells. She hid her treasures in a cave, and sat digging her bare
feet into the sand.
The sound of voices and barking
dogs made Meriku run. She ran until she reached the Point, then walked around
the shore to the river on the other side. In the middle of the river, on the
other side, was a grassy little island. Meriku wanted to cross over to the
island, but she couldn't swim, and no one would take her.
Picking up a piece of red coloured glass on the
shore, she examined it, and looked through it with one of her big, round, brown
The grassy island sparkled through the glass.
It was beautiful! Meriku threw the glass back on the sand, and as she did, she
saw a flat round stone. She picked it up . A sand dollar! Meriku rubbed the
stone gently on her face all the time looking over to the little
A strange, shiny, big silvery boat was coming
towards her at great speed. Her big, brown eyes opened as wide as they could.
Before Meriku could even move, the great big silvery thing was ashore. But it
wasn't a boat. It was the biggest salmon she had ever seen!
Meriku looked at the sand dollar, then looked at the
salmon. Her face broke into a big smile.
" Where did
you come from?" she asked.
"From the deep waters of
the bay. You called me," the fish answered.
put out her hand and patted the fish gently.
"Climb aboard," the fish
"I can't swim. And you're slippery,"
"Climb aboard," the fish said
Meriku climbed on the salmon's back. It wasn't
slippery after all. It was as if something held her down. The salmon skimmed
over the river, and around the Point to the Bay. They rode the waves on
Miramichi Bay, and the let them splash over them. It was such fun that Meriku
didn't even mind being wet!
The big salmon turned and
headed back to the river. He brought Meriku up to the little grassy island.
The island shore was light golden sand, and it felt
like velvet under the little girl's feet. Meriku licked the salt from her lips
as she walked. The salmon waited as the little girl explored. Meriku walked
around and across the island.
The sun was going down
when she returned to the salmon.
"It's time to go",
the fish said. Meriku climbed on his back, and within a few minutes she was
back on the village shore.