MOTI SPLASHED IN THE SHALLOWS, holding on to the bow. The sand was rough and granular under his feet, the water warm and pungent with life. The wooden skiff was long, heavy, and flat-bottomed. As he pushed to and fro, a lazy inch of water sloshed gently inside over planking turned green with algae. At two years old, he knew this was a “boat” and nothing more. Rowing, maneuvering, gauging the current, sensing the inertia of a coasting vessel, none of these existed. But the air reeked of seaweed, crab shells, and brine. The flaking paint under his fingers felt hot to the touch in the white August sun. That the boat moved at all was a triumph, and Moti was a barefoot god.
I grew up in Baltimore County. Our neighbor had two of those wooden tables with the benches attached under an enormous maple tree. On 4th of July they stapled butcher paper to the tables and piled the crabs in the center, and it took all day to eat them. There may have been corn, too. I hadn’t thought of that in years. Maryland crabs are the best, with Old Bay seasoning. (And the lightening bugs! In a Mason jar!)
It’s been a long drought, but the Coke bottle full of Japanese beetles quenched my thirst. Thanks, John.
Everything is alive in this story, even the dead goose. Enjoyed this, thank you 🌸♥️.