The Little Boat

Dedicated to my mother Jackie Mary Johnson-McCloskey
By Mary S McCloskey (Maryam Ahmed)


There was a little boat out in a vast and beautiful ocean. It’s bell rang in the winds as the sails snapped full pulling the weight of it skimming each cresting wave barely touching it…

… almost flying.

How good it was to be so alive with joy!

One day the horizon grew dark and winds howled in every direction shredding the sails and ripping the bell to be rudely flung in the water. Rain pounded the deck until it was soaked and the storm wrecked that little boat on a strange shore.

No one cared about a boat. No one wanted to sail into the vast ocean. No one wanted to spend the time and money to fix the little boat properly. Now and then the boat was happy when creatures came and made temporary homes in safe places. Once there was even a grand time when some kids came to play on the boat and pretended to sail the mighty ocean in it. The little boat was happy to still have some use but when it slept the boat dreamed of dancing on the waves of blue and green under the yellow sun and the white clouds. It dreamed of the cries of dolphins and the fountains of whales.

Sometimes it seemed that it never happened. The boat had been out in the vast ocean such a short time and such a long time on the strange shore. As time passed the boat fell further and further into disrepair.

Sometimes people liked to come and be around the little boat that was now falling apart. The boat let the wind blow through holes in it’s hull and tell stories of a long ago ocean and a bell that rang clearly through the nights.

One night while the stars winked overhead and whirled in their galactic dance a breeze picked up speed and a tide came in where water had not been for hundreds of years. The boat was there but it was a ghost and only other ghosts knew it was there. The tide rolled in like the world was new and the little ghost boat felt itself rise and start to float.
Was it a dream?

The sun began to rise, slowly, over the horizon with a lovely burst of rare green. The breeze became a wind and the little boat felt that it’s sails were once more full of the riches of motion! The North Star had also set. The little boat hit the first wave and…
… the bell!

beach dawn dusk ocean
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

The bell that was rudely thrown into the deep sea a million years ago was ringing like the day it was new! Life once more surged through that little boat and it danced like joy into the rising sun.

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