The August air was rich as golden syrup. Tiny lay in the grass beneath the old apple tree, fanned herself with a nasturtium leaf, and slipped into a delicious slumber. She awoke with a start to a peculiar slapping sound. Tiny sat up, frowned, and ran towards the commotion in the creeping twilight. Under the garden gate, left at Silent Creek, and ten abracadabras to the west; she stopped in her tracks on the banks of the Swallowtail River. The squelching was so deafening, Tiny felt her belly-butterflies begin to squirm. Mother-the-Moon hovered above the horizon, luminous and beaming.
“Good evening to you, Tiny!” she boomed.
“Good evening Mother-the-Moon!” yelled Tiny, “what’s all that noise?”
“The poor sturgeon are caught in the river. They’ve been laying their eggs all summer. I’m helping the old dears return to Silver Lake! Take a look and see.”
Mother-the-Moon angled a moonbeam towards the sound, and Tiny peered inside. Dozens of armored water-dinosaurs writhed and crowded the narrow river. Their bony plates clashed together, creating quite a din.
“Oh no! They’re trapped!” cried Tiny. “We have to help them!”
The hairs on her neck stood to attention as a sour-faced sturgeon as tall as Old Man Guthrie leapt out of the water and shrieked, “there’s no room in here! We’re packed in like sardines!” And it belly-flopped onto its brethren, who grunted in annoyance.
Tiny turned to Mother-the-Moon. “The fish really are in a pickle. What I can do to help?”
“Cause a distraction. It might help them to find the way out.”
Tiny had an idea. She waved her arms in the air, shouting “follow me, fishies!” and ran along the riverbank. The sturgeon raised their long snouts, and began to give chase, until the river widened, and the bottleneck had cleared. One by one they raised their fins, and gave a clackety-clack as they passed. She had done it, the sturgeon were free. Mother-the-Moon wrapped Tiny in a strand of moonlight as they waved goodbye. It would be another few years before the sturgeons’ return, but they would be ready.