Monday, June 21, 2021

#WritePhoto: Along the River

Every Thursday, KL Caley at New2Writing shares a photo to serve as inspiration for some kind of writing to be posted and shared by the following Tuesday. Last Thursday, the photo was this peaceful scene of a fisherman. I took a few liberties and came up with my story. The hop is open to all, just write your story and share the link at KL's blog!

 Photo by KL Caley


Along the River: A Story in Six Chapters

Ratty and Mole play in their boat until the ducks, angry at the disruption of their feeding, chase them away. They retreat to have a picnic on the bank of the river, and are joined by the Badger and the Otter. They remain hidden under the drooping willows.

The miller lets the water through the weir, turns the wheel and grinds the grain for an hour, just enough for his wife to bake the bread for their anniversary dinner. She always makes that from the flour he grinds at the ancient mill. The rest of the time, the wheel sits silent and still, and the water passes around the mill unchecked.

A group of boys, skipping school, swim in the calm backwater above the mill. They make sure not to be seen by the miller, or anyone else. They have no idea that they are seen by the Badger, and would not know what to make of him if they did. They strip all the way and skinny-dip so their mothers won’t find any wet clothes when they return on schedule, as though they had wasted this perfect day in school. The cool water washes over their bodies and fills them with a radiant joy.

A couple, not so young as all that, punts slowly down the stream and ties up under a willow across the stream from Ratty and Mole. Out of sight, they talk and kiss. They are old enough that this is out of character, but in the first violent throes of a love long denied they really don’t care.

A fisherman catches a fish and holds it, under the water, in awe of the colors that play over it, until the water seeps through the hole he has torn in his waders and he lets the fish go. He returns to shore and packs up his gear, unsure if he will fish again. He sits by the water and watches the light playing over the riffles.

The banks of the river lie calm, or erode; sprout new willows and let the roots of old trees collapse into the water. The river does not care. The river embraces all.

The river is home.

All images and text ©Rebecca M. Douglass, unless otherwise indicated.

As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated!



  1. I loved this... so many takes on the subject in one coherent whole.

    1. With a few shout-outs (more and less obvious) to some favorite books.


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