“Dip your dress in the water,” said Maratha. “I think I can fix it.”
Lucy crawled to the water’s edge and dunked the end of her dress into the creek. The hole disappeared! “My dress!” Lucy yelled. New, shimmering fabric lay where the hole had been.
“I made you a patch from the water,” said Maratha smiling.
Lucy stared down at her dress, eyes wide. “How did you do it?”
Maratha looked puzzled. “I weaved it from the water.”
“That’s amazing. Thank you, Maratha.” Lucy brushed her hands across the seamless patch and stood. “I’m ready to finish our adventure.”
Maratha beamed. “We aren’t too far now.”
From there on the creek dipped and twisted constantly down the grassy hill. Minnows swam more often in this stretch of water.
Lucy continued at a brisk walk. Her breathing was back to normal. She couldn’t stop playing with her dress as she trudged on.
The ground went perfectly flat for a few paces before curving upward.
Maratha did a few spirals in the water. “We’re here!” she cheered.
The surface of the water was darker than usual. Along the bank, the pebbles that should have been red or brown were mostly multi-colored. It was like seeing a hundred tiny rainbows.
Maratha’s smile began to droop. “Something’s wrong here,” she said.
“What is it?” asked Lucy.
“The water,” said Maratha. “It’s filthy.”
“It does look funny,” said Lucy.
“And it feels funny,” said Maratha.
Lucy picked up one of the rainbow pebbles and rubbed her thumb across it. It felt slippery. “Why don’t we go downstream a bit more?” she suggested.
“I think that’s a good idea,” said Maratha. She led the way.
Before long, the surface of the water changed to black.
Maratha’s face turned white. “Oh, no.”
“The water,” said Lucy. “It’s really muddy.”
Maratha shook her head. “Not muddy, oily.”
“An oil spill! In the country?” Lucy said, gasping.It looked like Maratha was crying, but the water hid any tears. “I have to go back and tell my father. This is horrible.”