Gertrude and Gwyneth

A story by Terry Lende

Gertrude and Gwyneth were having a lovely day at Frank Lake. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. The two friends were having fun diving into the water in search of tasty morsels when Gertrude said, ‘Gwyneth, I’ve got a great idea.’ Oh, oh, thought Gwyneth. That usually means trouble. But usually trouble of the fun kind. Like when they snatched a sandwich from an unsuspecting bird watcher.   ‘And what great idea would that be?’ she asked. ‘Let’s go water skiing!’ ‘Uh, Gertrude, in case you haven’t noticed, we don’t have a boat.’ ‘No silly. Not like that. Besides, I don’t know how to drive. Just grab hold of one of my tail feathers and I’ll tow you!’ Well, thought Gwyneth, that doesn’t sound so bad. I mean, how hard can it be? ‘What the heck’ she said. ‘Let’s give it a go!’ So, Gwyneth grabbed her friend’s tail feather. And …

At first it worked perfectly as Gertrude towed her friend along the surface of the water. ‘Yippee!’ cried Gwyneth. ‘This is one of your best ideas ever!

But towing another bird along the surface of the water is hard work, and soon Gertrude began to tire. And soon Gwyneth sunk lower,

and lower into the water. ‘Flap harder!’ she cried. ‘Remember, I can’t swim!’

Well, as you know, of course Terns can swim. And luckily, Gwyneth remembered just in time. And as for Gertrude, one tail feather was so stretched, it threw her off balance. So, for a while she was flying in circles, with one wing up and one wing down.

But she is all better now. And thinking of her next great idea.

The End (for now)

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