Children's Story.

Three young children loved to play their favourite game...hiding.

My young son and I swapped pictures to make stories from. This one was a photo of a crystal clear creek we had visited that had a lot of boulders for the water to flow over. Beautiful...and so very cold!

In a valley, hidden away between the trees, lived three boys. Their names were Jay, Justin and Daniel. They liked living in the forest, because there were plenty of places to hide, and plenty of places to play. And they really liked to play at hiding.

One day, they were playing their favourite game - hiding. Daniel was supposed to be looking for his friends, but ended up by the river instead. The river was another favourite place to play. There were plenty of fish to catch, and the water was nice and cool.

Daniel really liked trying to catch the fish with his bare hands, so he decided that he would go for a swim and catch some. He always liked to try, but catching fish with your bare hands was quite tricky. This was because the fish were very fast, and very slippery.

One day he had actually caught a small fish, but Daniel was so surprised to find a wriggling fish in his hands, that he had accidentally dropped it. But he had decided, if he could catch it once, then he could catch it again.

Daniel waded into the cold water, and looked for a nice spot to sit and wait for a fish. His attention was caught by a suitable place right in front of some very big boulders. So that's where he squatted down in the river. He had to suck in his breath as the cold water splashed onto his bottom. It was very cold today!

Daniel squinted his eyes, to search for some fish under the water. He could see there were some very little ones hiding under the rocks, but they were too small to catch. He needed to find one a bit bigger.

Daniel had to sit very, very quietly, so that he didn't scare away the bigger fish that he had noticed poking their noses out from under the rock overhang. If he sat still for long enough, they would think he was a rock too, and the brown stripey fish would stop hiding and swim forward.

Then he would be able to very slowly stretch out his hands, and gently scoop them up. At least, that's what he hoped would happen. But usually, they would flip their tails and scoot off faster than he could blink.

Although today, Daniel was feeling hopeful. Maybe this would be the day when he actually caught a fish. Daniel let his mind wander as he thought about what it would be like to feel a slippery fish wriggling and twisting in his hands. How would he keep a firm hold on it?

He decided that he would have to grab hold of the flapping tail, and hang on to it tightly. If it couldn't whip its tail around, it wouldn't be able to escape! At least, that's what he figured might happen. He wasn't really sure about it though.

As he was day-dreaming, Daniel noticed a flash of movement out of the corner of his eye. He froze instantly, as his eyes turned in the direction of the disturbance. He couldn't believe what he had seen! It was a big fish!

This fish was big enough to fit in both of his palms. He saw that it was brown, the same colour as all of the river fish. Daniel looked more closely, and he could see that this fish had three large black dots on each side of its slim body.

The fish lazily swam towards Daniel, who was so excited that he wanted to jump up and down. But he didn't. He just sat very, very still and very, very quietly. Daniel's hands were still lowered in the water, in the perfect position to catch an unwary fish. All he needed now, was the fish to swim just a little bit closer.

To his surprise, that's what happened! The fish drifted towards him, using Daniel's shadow as a hiding place. It even swam right over the top of Daniel's hands! It was now in the perfect position to be caught.

Daniel found it very hard to keep still as his fingers ever so slowly, closed around the big brown fish in his hands. He was excited but he stayed calm. He didn't want to do anything to scare it away now!

Just as Daniel's grip was about to tighten on the sleepy fish, two boys suddenly crashed out of the forest and splashed into the river. Daniel was so startled, he jerked his head up and twitched his fingers. The sleepy fish wasn't sleepy anymore. It sped away faster than lightning!

Oh no! He had lost his fish again! But Daniel didn't care. He was grinning from ear to ear, overjoyed at being so close to the marvellous fish! He wasn't even angry at his two friends, Jay and Justin, for making so much noise and scaring it away.

When Daniel had stopped looking for Jay and Justin, they had decided to look for him. But Daniel was the one who found something very special - a wonderful spotty fish.