A Damselfly in Distress

by Erin Fanning -

Ian and Grandma floated along the river in a double kayak. The tops of pines broke through the mist like turrets on a castle. A frog hopped onto driftwood in the shape of a sword.

“I’m Sir Ian, Knight of the Kayak.” Ian looked over his shoulder at Grandma, who sat behind him. “And you can be Queen of the River.”

“I’d be honored, Sir Ian.” Grandma chuckled and bowed her head.

Sunlight broke through the mist. A yellow and black dragonfly darted over the kayak. Ian ducked. The little boat rocked from side to side.

“Dragons are attacking.” Ian raised his paddle to swat at the dragonfly. “Don’t worry, Queen. I’ll protect you.”

“Stop, Sir Ian. The dragonfly is protecting us,” Grandma said. “It eats mosquitoes and flies but it doesn’t bother humans. This one is called Dragon Hunter.”

The dragonfly landed on the kayak’s forward hatch. Tiny veins crisscrossed its wings.

“And dragonflies are much older than the dragons in your books. Scientists have found fossils of dragonflies more than 300 million years old.” Grandma rested her paddle in front of her and spread her hands apart. “They were much bigger back then too with wings two feet long.”

“Wow!” Ian drew in his breath. “Almost like a real dragon.”

The dragonfly clung to the kayak as the current pulled the boat along. Grandma navigated around rocks.

“Looks like Dragon Hunter wants to come with us.” Ian’s paddle sliced through the water. Drops sprinkled onto the kayak and the dragonfly took flight. It skimmed over the rippling river...

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