Soft white curls danced in the breeze as the little girl skipped down the dirt road, making her way to the fishing boat docks. Her father carried a fishing pole in one hand and Annie’s sack lunch in his other. Annie could feel the salt of the ocean as the shade of the trees disappeared. She stopped at the first board of the dock and glanced back at her father. “Can I go find George?” Her wide green eyes sparkled in the sunlight. No father in his right mind could say no. She spun on her heels and skipped along the boards while counting the few remaining fishing boats left in their slips.
SLAP, SLAP, FLAP, she heard and came to an abrupt halt. Then she yelled gleefully, “George!” She clapped her hands together and danced in circles, causing George to snap his beak together to make the loud clapping sound again as he too began to dance. The few fishermen on the dock watched and couldn’t help but laugh and shake their heads at the sight of this little girl and her pet pelican.
Her father worked on his boat engine for a while, keeping an eye on Annie but knowing if George was around, no harm would come to Annie. They kept their clapping and dancing game going for quit a while. When Annie headed closer to her father’s boat, Pelican George flapped his wings and followed. Her father closed the engine hood, scooped her up, and lifter her down into the hull of the boat. He dropped the fishing line down and fed Annie her lunch while George waited patiently for the pole to bend. When the pole moved and Annie’s dad started reeling the fish in, George waddled closer to the boat. He waited for the fish to be freed from the hook, then smacked and clapped his beak, waiting for Annie’s dad to toss him his lunch. Annie giggled and pretended to toss a bite of her sandwich in her mouth, and she too clapped her hands and smacked her lips.
Annie yawned, marking the end of their lunch, so Dad lifted her back onto the dock near George and the two waddled, danced, and clapped all the way to the road. George watched as her father lifted her high up on his shoulders.
Annie said, “Bye, bye, Pelican George. I will see you tomorrow!” She waved her tiny hand as her father began walking home.
Annie’s dad slowly laid her down for her nap when he heard her say, “Daddy, I love Pelican George!” And then she fell fast a sleep.