MY MAGICAL MAUI
by Laura Thomas
Read along or listen to My Magical Maui, a short story that takes place off a little beach in Maui.
What I am about to tell you happened many years ago. I was just a young girl, and the Hawaiian Islands were my vacation playground every summer.
"Lucy! Please don't go too deep!" my mother shouted from her spot on the beautiful, sun kissed beach.
"Sure, Mom!" I replied. I loved the island of Maui, and the ocean was home to me. When I snorkeled, I pretended I was entering a secret world, filled with mysterious creatures.
"A tiny turtle!" I shrieked through my bulky mask. I followed him through shoals of yellow tangs, and hundreds of other glorious, rainbow-colored fish. As I allowed myself to glide gracefully next to the tiny turtle, I felt his flipper touch my hand. I stayed close, and the two of us swam and swam in a watery waltz.
Eventually, I decided to pop my head above the water to clear my mask while Tiny munched on some green stuff. I looked back at the beach.
"My mom will be in a panic, Tiny. I have to go. But I'll be back tomorrow, okay?"
It's hard to explain, but I believe Tiny smiled at me!
I didn't tell anyone about my turtle, and that night, I dreamed a wonderful dream about Tiny showing me the whole ocean. When I woke up, I almost dragged my parents to the beach, and then flip-flopped into the clear blue water.
"Be careful, Lucy!" called my mother.
"Sure, Mom!" I replied.
I swam out to a safe depth, and then waved to my parents. When I reached my usual area at the big, black rocks, Tiny was waiting. My heart flipped as he smiled at me again, and then asked me to follow him. Not with words, of course, but I just knew.
Tiny took me on a magical journey; we swam through giant coral reefs, slithered alongside slimy eels, and saw a thousand starfish resting on a rock. But Tiny saved the best until last. Basking in the reflection of the summer sun above us, I discovered a whole family of turtles!
Dizzy with excitement, I thought it best to stick my head out of the water and get some fresh air. Then as I plunged back down to join Tiny, I nearly choked. I saw him frantically twisting and turning in a section of fishing net, a silver hook planted firmly in his back left leg.
"Wait, Tiny," I cried, "I'll help you, but you have to trust me." Tiny held perfectly still and looked deep into my eyes. My hands were shaky, but I gently pulled the hook free, and the net came away easily.
I balled the net up in my fist, as I didn't want any other turtle getting caught. Tiny was safe, and I realized I had been gone for quite some time, so I waved to the turtle family and rose to the surface.
To my dismay, my parents were little dots on the beach. Tears pricked my eyes as I kept my lead-weight limbs in motion. "Tiny," I sniffled, "I simply can't make it back!"
But as my heart started pounding, I sensed the biggest turtle beneath me. I gently reached down to hold the edge of her shell, and she started to move, slowly at first. Tiny followed as I held my breath and we propelled through the water with ease. This was a ride I would never forget.
I spotted my parents pacing the shore by the time I got close. As soon as it was shallow enough for me to stand, Tiny and the big turtle swerved away. I stood on wobbly legs, and as I looked up, Tiny poked his head out of the water and gave me one final smile.
That was the last time I ever saw Tiny, but it was the best day of my life. I told my parents what had happened, and even showed them the net, but they just thought I'd been playing imaginary games.
I still have that net today, but never told anyone else my story. I knew nobody would ever believe me.
Except maybe you.
**Image courtesy Georgia Kral