The Loons

The Loons

This was the story of Vanessa, a girl who lived in Manawaka. There were also the Tounerres the  so called halfbreeds. The father Jules and the son Lazarus used to start fights in bars, they were often arrested by the Mounties for one night. The dougther Piquette went to the same school as Vanessa although she was older and she had a limbing walk. She had to spend one month in hospital because she had tuberculosis of the bone. Vanessa`s father, her doctor, thought it would be a good idea to invite Piquette to join them at Lake Diamond. The family had a cottage there and they used to come to the lake every summer. Piquette was no good company for Vanessa because she refused to play wit her and even did not speak too much. But then she found out that Piquette was an Indian, a dougther of the forest and she wanted to know her secrets.

Because of her leg Piquette was not allowed to go swimming so Vanessa decided to invite her to a walk to her secret place, a small pier where she used to sit and listened to the crying of the loons. But Piquette refused to come with her again. Vanessa went there alone, when she sat down on the pier she heard footsteps, it was her father who had come, he sat down and thy listened to the loons not knowing that it would be the last time they would be able to sit there together. The next winter the father died because of pneumonia.

For the next 4 years Vanessa did not see Piquette again. Then they met in a cafe, Piquette had changed completely, she was only 17 but looked like a 20 year old woman, she loughed and talked to boys all the time. One year later Vanessa heard that Piquette had married an English man and moved to town. Vanessa left for college, when she came back one year later her mother told her that Piquette was dead. Soon after her marriage she had left her husband-or the other way round, the mother did not know-and came back to Manawaka with her 2 kids to run her father`s household. Unluckily the house burned down and she and her kids died.

Vanessa went to Lake Diamond but everything had changed, their house had been sold after her father`s death, instead of the small pie there was a big one and they had changed the name of the lake into Wapakata Lake because they thought it would attract more tourists. But then she noticed that it was quiet, too quiet, the loons had gone.          

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