FRANCES THE FERRY

A Children's Story of Fanciful Worldwide Travel

Copyright May 18, 2000, Grace A. Moore, P.O. Box 0057, LaClede, Idaho 83841

 

FRANCES THE FERRY WAS RED!

FRANCES WAS VERY VERY RED!

 

Frances was so red she was hot! Hot as a pop!

Frances worked on a lake . A lake that was usually cool. A lake that was between big mountains with ice on them. A lake way way up north. A lake in Canada.

But today it was hot! Hot as a pop!

Many many cars were on vacation. Frances had to carry all the cars across the lake. Some of the cars were very small and had no tops. Some of the cars were very tall with lots of people inside. They called themselves RV's.

Frances thought they put on airs. They were just big fat cars.

Frances thought everything that had wheels was a car. Once a car told her it was a boat. It sat on a funny thing with wheels and held onto a green truck. Frances told it that if it was a boat it should swim across the lake by itself. But it didn't.

Frances usually liked to carry the cars.

But today it was so hot.

So very very hot.

Hot as a pop.

There was no cool wind to help. Frances wished that it would rain.

Across the lake there was a Ferris wheel. The Ferris wheel was named Jimmy. Jimmy and Frances were friends.

They would talk to each other while Frances waited for the cars to roll onto her back.

Frances complained it was hot. Hot as a pop.

Jimmy the Ferris wheel did not mind that it was hot. Hot as a pop. Jimmy got to go round and round in the summer and made his own breeze. He liked the children that would scream and laugh as he swung them over his head.

But Jimmy the Ferris wheel hated being stuck in one place. He could not even go across the lake like Frances.

Jimmy the Ferris wheel told Frances to stop complaining.

After all, she got to move around. She got to see the other side of the lake.

He, a poor Ferris wheel, was forever stuck in one spot and would never see anything.

Frances felt bad about complaining.

After all she had her bottom in the water and only her top was hot.

Hot as a pop.

So she stopped complaining about the hot.

Then she thought about Jimmy the Ferris wheel and felt sad. Sad because he was stuck in one spot and could only go round and round in circles.

Then she thought about herself. Where did she go?

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

Back and forth.

 

She was stuck in a spot too. She just went back and forth instead of round and round. She would never see the world. And she shed a tear into the lake.

Now we know that Frances and Jimmy the Ferris wheel lived far in the north. The mountains were so tall that there were big patches of ice on them even in the summer time. The ice never melted. The people called the ice glaciers.

One of the glaciers was named Sankredi.

She was very very old.

Maybe a million years old.

Or maybe not.

You never know if glaciers lie about their age.

Sankredi liked to look down at the lake far below.

She liked to watch the people and the cars and she especially liked to watch the ferry and the Ferris wheel.

Sankredi had lived a very long long time and knew many things.

And she hadn't really done anything interesting in quite a long time - maybe a thousand years.

Most of the time Sankredi just slept. And dreamed.

Sankredi knew all about dreams and how to make magic dreams.

But just now she was awake, and listening to Frances the ferry and Jimmy the Ferris wheel.

So Sankredi thought she would be nice.

She had not been nice in quite a while.

Sankredi shrugged her shoulders and puffed a little.

Then she sucked in some sky and blew a small white puff into the blue.

Frances looked around.

She thought she felt something move - besides the water.

But everything looked normal, except for one small cloud that had appeared over the mountain.

The last car rolled onto her back and she pulled up her tail.

One more trip across the lake and then she could rest for awhile.

The puff cloud grew and grew and came across the lake till it was right over Frances' head.

It was not now so not. Not as hot as a pop.

 

Frances was glad.

She pretended the puffy cloud was her umbrella.

Sankredi smiled.

It was a magic cloud.

Frances looked up.

The white puff was becoming pale pink. And very big!

Frances wondered if there was going to be a storm.

The light was very very strange.

Now Frances was used to clouds.

After all she lived in the north.

She lived in Canada.

She saw clouds every day.

But this pink puff was very strange. Very very strange! And it was coming down around her ears.

Pretty soon she couldn't hear the waves, the slap slap of the water on her sides.

And she couldn't see very well either. The shore was getting dimmer.

And dimmer.

All she could see was a pink fog.

Frances felt very very strange.

She felt very very light.

She felt very very dizzy.

She thought maybe she was sick.

Then suddenly - out of the fog came Jimmy the Ferris wheel! Rolling and rolling across the waves. Only there weren't any waves. Frances the ferry and Jimmy the Ferris wheel were floating in the pink fog.

Now Frances thought this was very very odd.

Jimmy the Ferris wheel was laughing and shouting and flapping his legs in the air.

"I'm free, I'm free!" shouted Jimmy. Jimmy whirled faster and faster.

He had only one rider left A little girl with one long black braid.

She held on very very tight And looked very very scared.

"What are you doing Jimmy!" shouted Frances! "You are scaring that poor little girl to death."

Jimmy stopped whirling and looked startled. Jimmy did not know that he had a little girl with him.

"I'm so sorry," he said to the little girl.

"I did not mean to scare you."

"You should be sorry," scolded Frances.

"I am always very very careful with my cars."

"Where are your cars?" asked Jimmy. "Did you spill them all into the lake?"

Frances looked around. All her cars were gone.

"No!" said Frances. I did not spill them into the lake! I know I did not spill them into the lake!"

"Well," said the little girl, "you don't have any cars now."

"Where is the lake," asked Jimmy. Now the lake was gone too!

There was nothing but Jimmy and Frances and the pink cloud - and the little girl.

"Oh my!" said Frances. "Oh my!" said Jimmy.

"I want to go home," said the little girl.

The pink cloud got brighter and brighter.

Then there was a beautiful sound - like tinkling bells or breaking ice crystals, Frances couldn't tell which. And s beautiful voice came out of the cloud.

"Don't be afraid!" it said. "This is a magic cloud. It will take you on a magic journey."

Then the pink cloud slipped beneath their feet. It was fluffy and soft.

The sky was brilliant blue again. They looked around in wonder.

"What is happening to your feet?" said Frances.

Jimmy the Ferris wheel's feet were changing. They stretched and curled and pretty soon they turned into wings.

"What is happening to your rails?" said Jimmy. Frances the ferry's' rails were changing too.

They stretched and curled and pretty soon they turned into wings.

Jimmy the Ferris feel rolled over a couple of times and flapped his wings.

"Look look I can fly!" said Jimmy.

"Look look I can fly too!" said Frances!

"I want to go home." said the little girl.

They flew off across the pink cloud together.

Frances and Jimmy were very very excited and very very happy.

"Now we can see the world!" said Jimmy.

"Now we will see the world!" said Frances.

The little girl held on very very tight. In a very low voice which no one could hear she said "I want my mommy." But she did not cry and Frances and Jimmy were too excited to notice.

Frances and Jimmy flew and flew.

Their wings felt very strong.

Finally they came to the end of the pink cloud and they could see the ground.

It was very strange.

There were no pine trees and no water. Everything was pale brown and very very dry.

The mountains were dark red and jagged. But they were pretty.

The trees were funny. They had arms and were covered with spines.

"Where are we?" said Frances.

"Where are we?" said Jimmy.

"We are in the desert." said the little girl.

There was a funny long thing that looped sideways.

"What kind of thing is that?" said Frances. "That is a snake," said the little girl.

"Why doesn't it look where it is going ?" said Jimmy.

"It goes sideways."

"Perhaps it is drunk"

"Perhaps it is trying to fool us," said Frances.

"It is called a sidewinder," said the little girl. "But it should not be blue."

"Well it is certainly silly," said Frances

"Over there is a prairie dog," said the little girl

"It doesn't look like a dog ," said Frances. "The desert is certainly strange!"

They flew and flew and finally they flew over some water.

"Look!" said Frances, "We are over a lake. A very big lake. I cannot see the other side."

"This must be an ocean," said the little girl.

The water was very blue. They flew and flew and then the water became very green - with dark splotches.

 

"This is very pretty," said Frances.

"I am getting tired," said Jimmy.

"I am still scared," said the little girl, "but not so much anymore."

Jimmy flapped and flapped but he could not keep up in the air.

He got lower and lower until his bottom was in the water.

Frances got tired too and thought she would rest on the water.

But the water did not hold Jimmy up!

"Glub glub glub!" He sank into the water.

"Help! Help!" said Jimmy

"I can't swim!" screamed the little girl.

Frances grabbed onto Jimmy. They held each other tight by their new wings!

"Swim!" screamed Frances.

Jimmy churned up the water going round and round, and closed his eyes.

The little girl held on very very tight.

Each time Jimmy turned up she would gasp for breath. Each time Jimmy turned under she would hold her nose and close her eyes.

Jimmy did not sink any farther now.

Jimmy could turn slower, but he still turned fast enough so the little girl could breathe.

"Open your eyes!" screamed Frances. "we are being attacked!"

Jimmy opened one eye, very carefully.

The little girl opened both eyes.

"We are not being attacked," said the little girl. "Those are just fish."

There were all sorts of fish.

Orange fish with white spots.

Purple fish with yellow fins.

Green fish with black stripes.

Long skinny yellow fish that looked like sticks.

Round fish with round eyes and spikes all over their body.

Flat fish that looked like funny pancakes.

Square fish with fat mouths.

Curvy fish that had long noses like horses.

"Those look like horse fish," said Frances.

"They are sea horses," said the little girl with disgust.

"Haven't you ever seen a sea horse ?"

"No," said Frances, "and I don't believe you've seen one before either."

"Can I have a ride," said the sea horse to Jimmy.

"Be my guest," said Jimmy.

The sea horse sat next to the little girl and held on with his tail. "This is fun," said the sea horse. Jimmy turned round and round.

"This water is very warm," said Jimmy.

"Uh-oh," said the sea horse.

"Gotta run!" said the sea horse.

All the fish suddenly disappeared.

"What happened to everybody?" said Frances.

"Look out!" said the little girl, "that's a shark!"

A long blue fish came by. The fish smiled.

He had rows and rows of sharp white teeth.

"What's a shark?" said Jimmy.

"Swim!" said the little girl

"Don't worry, I already ate," said the shark.

"It is nice to see you. What kind of a fish are you?"

"I'm not a fish, I'm a ferry," said Frances.

"I'm not a fish, I'm a Ferris wheel," said Jimmy.

"I'm not a fish either, I'm just a little girl," said the little girl. "And I don't want you to eat me!"

"Okay," said the shark. "Maybe next time"

"Goodbye," said Frances Jimmy and the little girl said nothing. The shark flipped his tail twice and disappeared.

All the fish

The orange fish

The green fish

The long skinny yellow fish

The round fish

The flat fish

The square fish

 

They all came back.

Even the sea horse.

 

The pink puff cloud also came back.

It settled slowly onto the water.

Pretty soon Frances could see only a pink fog.

The fish got very dim and swam away, waving their tails.

Jimmy held onto Frances very tight.

The little girl held onto Jimmy very tight.

"What's happening now?" said Jimmy.

"I don't know," said Frances.

"Let's go up again," said the little girl, "I'm very very wet."

"I'm too tired to fly," said Jimmy.

"Then stop turning," said the little girl.

"Oh," said Jimmy.

He stopped turning so fast.

Then he stopped turning at all, with the little girl at the top.

He began to flap his wet wings and fly.

The pink puff cloud was turning white and slowly disappearing. Finally it was a very small cloud under Frances' bottom.

Now they were all flying along together through a bright blue sky filled with other puffy bright white clouds.

The sun was shining and it was very warm.

"This is nice," said Jimmy.

He rested on a cloud, but his bottom stuck through a little.

They all looked down.

There were beautiful green fields everywhere.

There were big patches of yellow flowers in the fields, and a blue creek running slowly along.

From time to time they saw animals.

A white rabbit being chased by a brown spotted dog.

The rabbit ran down a hole and the dog did not seem to really care. He ran after a bunch of white sheep instead.

The sheep had bells on their necks and were not very afraid of the dog.

Baaaaa," said the sheep.

"Woof," said the dog.

The little girl laughed.

"He's not a very good sheepdog," she said.

"He's supposed to take them home."

Pretty soon they came to a road. It was made of dirt.

A red tractor rolled along pulling a big wagon filled with green clover.

"Look at all that clover," cried the little girl.

"There must be a four leaf clover in all that clover!.

If we could find a four leaf clover we could all wish on it".

"What would we wish?" said Jimmy.

"I can't think of anything I would like to do more than this.

We are seeing the world!"

"I want to go home," said the little girl.

"I miss my mommy and daddy."

She began to cry.

"Please don't cry," said the red tractor.

"I'm sure I have at least one four leaf clover in here."

The tractor shook and shook and ran around in circles, throwing all the clover up in the air. Sure enough, there was a four leaf clover. It fell right into the middle of the dirt road, all by itself.

"Look, look," said the little girl.

"Look, look," said Frances.

"Look, look," said Jimmy.

And he swooped down to grab the four leaf clover.

But just then a wooly sheep jumped into the road and ate it!

"Oh no, now we'll never get home," sobbed the little girl.

"Don't worry," said Frances.

But Frances was not very sure they would get home.

Frances was beginning to miss her lake and carrying all the cars.

"Would you like a ride on a ferry?" she said to the red tractor.

"No way," said the tractor. "I only ride on ferries that swim in water, not ferries that fly about the sky!"

The other white clouds began to come closer. Pretty soon Frances could hardly see the tractor. Or the green fields. Or the sheep that ate the four leaf clover.

"Goodbye," said the red tractor.

"Goodbye," yelled Frances. "I'm sorry you didn't want to come with us"

"It's getting cold," said the little girl. "I'm scared." She started to cry again.

The clouds closed beneath them again and the sky turned silver.

A breeze started to blow. Frances' flags began to blow in the wind. They stuck straight out.

Jimmy's seats began to swing in the wind. They blew straight back.

The little girl hung on with all her might and closed her mouth to keep her teeth from getting cold. Her black braid blew straight back and a teardrop froze upon her cheek.

The silver sky turned midnight blue. Millions of stars came out.

Pretty soon the clouds beneath them were gone.

They looked down and all they could see was black.

Then the moon came up.

A giant giant moon.

"Look," said Frances, "there is a lady in the moon and she is smiling at us!"

The little girl opened her mouth in surprise.

Her teeth were no longer cold.

The frozen teardrop on her cheek melted and fell off her chin.

"Look at that," said Frances.

Ahead of them was a shimmering white thing. It shone in the moonlight.

"I think that's an iceberg," said the little girl.

"Have you ever seen an iceberg?" said Jimmy.

"No," said the little girl.

They were all very very quiet.

They floated over more and more icebergs.

Finally there was nothing but snow and ice below.

Everything was white with silver shadows in the moonlight.

Then one of the shadows moved.

"Look," Frances whispered, "it's a bear."

A white polar bear walked slowly across the ice.

The bear looked up.

"It's time to go to sleep," said the bear.

"Go to sleep."

The bear crawled into a cave in the ice. Then he stuck his nose out once more. "Go to sleep," said the bear.

Frances got very very sleepy.

Jimmy the Ferris wheel got very very sleepy.

The little girl got very very sleepy.

She curled up in the seat and closed her eyes.

They flew slower and slower.

Soon they were almost asleep.

 

 

The pink puff cloud slowly appeared and was all around them.

Frances was fast asleep.

Jimmy was fast asleep.

The little girl was fast asleep.

Much much later Frances awoke.

She rubbed her eyes.

She was at her dock, waiting for the morning cars to come.

Jimmy awoke.

He rubbed his eyes.

His feet were on the ground and he was ready to go round and round.

The little girl awoke.

She rubbed her eyes.

"My goodness," she said. "I must have gone to sleep on the Ferris wheel. I had a wonderful dream! But what will my parents think!"

"I had a wonderful dream," said Jimmy.

"I don't think it was a dream," said Frances, "we got to see the world!"

The glacier Sankredi smiled and went back to sleep, probably for another hundred years.

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