“I don’t want to go into the water, Mum,” my brother, Wilson, pleaded.

“Silly boy.” She shook her head and then her tail.

Mum, I don’t want to,” he complained again.

So, it was up to me, the big sister, to show the way.

I dipped a toe in, and then joined him in whinging.

“It’s all cold and wet feeling,” I told her.

Mother sighed.

“We’re designed to swim, both my silly ducklings.”

The others were already splashing around in the river, with our Father. This fear was humiliating.

Just then, we heard it. A rustling in the bushes. All three of us turned, and stared into two amber eyes.

“FOX!” yelled Wilson, and we raced each other to the riverbank and dived in. I looked around, and was relieved to see our Mother swimming towards us.

Looking back to where we had been, I saw the fox slunk off heading towards the cover of the forest.

“I told you the water was safe,” she admonished.

Once upon a time I would have resented her smugness, but today?

As Wilson and our other brothers and sisters joined us, and Father took up the rear, I was too relieved to care.

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