(Lars) #1
pictures, but not the one she wantedmost.
The boathouse roof, Gulliver’s favoredperch,
was empty.
Katie waved to Ernest on hishouseboat.
His shaggy gray hair bounced ashescrubbed
the soapy jeans spread on the deck.Shipmate
snapped at the bubbles. Her stubbytail
wagged when she saw Katie.
“Hi, Ernest. Hi, Shipmate. SeenGulliver?”
“Welcome back, Katie-girl.”Ernest
straightened up with a groan. “Nope.Nosign
of Old Loudmouth yet.” He dunkedthejeans
in a bucket, then flung them overtheboom
to drip-dry. Shipmate danced awayfromthe
droplets that flew her way.
Ernest had given Gulliver hisname.The
gull’s size and his single leg madethebird
different. But it was what he begantodo
that first summer Katie and her dadcamethat
caught everyone’s attention.
The way Ernest told it, youngKatielayin
her stroller on the floating dockwhileUncle
Ralph and Dad mended sails nearby.The
wake from a speeding boat set thedock,and
Katie’s stroller, rocking and rolling.
Kee-aah! Kee-aah! Kee-aah!
That gull had the loudest cryanyonehad
ever heard. Dad and Uncle Ralphlookedup
at once. Dad stuck his foot out justintimeto
stop the runaway stroller. They kepta closer
eye on Katie after that.
Now, Katie loved the gentlemotionofthe
sea under her feet. She’d learnedhowtokeep
her balance on a moving dock.
The summer Katie was a toddler,shehad
to touch everything. Dad madeherweara life

jacketwhilesheplayed.Butif hedidn’twatch
hereveryminute,shetriedtopeelstarfishoff
therocks.Orpickupslimyjellyfishthetide
leftplasteredonthesand.
Kee-aah!Kee-aah!Kee-aah!
Thegull’scrybroughtDadontherun.
HestoppedKatieasshetriedtocatchseven
mallardducklingsracingforthewater.Later,
Gulliver’sscreamswarnedErnestthatKatie
wasabouttotastea handfulofkelp.
Now,Katietemptedthemallardfamilies
withchunksof bread.SheandShipmateshared
Ernest’sspecialpeanutbuttercookieswhilethey
watchedhimcarveducklingsfromdriftwood.
Thesummerspassed,andGullivercon-
tinuedtocallouthisalertsas Katietriednew
things.WhenKatiewasfourshelikedtolie
onhertummy,headhangingovertheedgeof
thedock,tocountthesilver-sidedminnows in
theirschools.Oneday,shehungouttoofar.
Kee-aah!Kee-aah!Kee-aah!
UncleRalphdashedfromtheboathouse
andfishedKatieoutofthewater,dripping
anddrapedwithseaweed.
Thenextsummer,Ernesttaughthera
songaboutrowinga boat,andUncleRalph
lethersitinthedinghy, pretendingtobe
a sailor.Butwhensheuntiedtheropethat
heldit tothedockandbegantodriftaway,
Gulliverscreechedhiswarning.Anothersum-
merGullivercircledoverheadscreamingafter
eight-year-oldKatiebrokeherankleonkelp-
slipperyrockswhilereachingfordriftwood
leftbya storm.
NowKatiesnorkeledina divingmaskto
counttheminnowsandrowedherselfacross

; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;


WOW! GULLIVER IS AN UNUSUAL
BIRD... VERY PROTECTIVE!
UNLIKE ANOTHER
UNUSUAL BIRD WE KNOW!

HERE,BOOMMEANS A
POLEATTACHEDTO THE
BOTTOMOF THESAIL.

ADINGHY
IS A
LITTLE

(^6) BOAT MEWY-AHOY!