Estavan glided across the glimmering water. His gaze shifted across the bay, watching, attempting to notice any sudden movements across the horizon. He set the oars again pulling slowly so as not to draw attention. Men in surrounding fishing boats drew their oars, sat chatting in their skiffs, or repaired nets.
Just breathe. Steady.
“Don’t move. Just a little farther.”
His pull strengthened as he skimmed across the water past the jetty. Clearing the peninsula’s edge, he changed direction toward the waiting boat.
As he drew near the larger vessel, from above a sailor threw him a rope and guided the small dinghy to the side of the craft where a ladder dangled.
Estavan wiped his face as a wide-eyed child wearing a cap popped up from under the blanket.
“You’re free little one. Go with God. These men will help you. Remember who loves you most. His hand will always be with you.”
Climbing the wavering ladder, the child looked down at the rescuer. Barely able to wrap small hands around the large, rough ropes, the little one reached up and removed the cap. Dark hair fell away from its confines and down the child’s back. She wiped her face against her sleeve.
“Will I ever see you again?”
“If God wills it so. But, hopefully, you will see more of your family soon.”
“Good-bye, Grampa. I love you,” she called as the sailor lifted her onto the craft.
(photo credit: Photo by John Sekutowski on Unsplash )
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