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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 17:39

Story submitted by Carol Carlson, originally written in 2004

It was 1952 – 52 years ago today that Lorac and Mij moved to a place called Minaki with their Mom and Dad. They had always lived in a big city so it was going to be very different living in a place everyone called The Lake. They arrived very late at night by train and the first thing they saw were big huge high rocks. Mij said to Lorac, this is going to be a great place to play cowboys and Indians.

The house where they lived was right on the edge of the water. There was a big ramshackle, rickety, old boathouse, kind of spooky. It use to be a sawmill and there were lots of rooms and the whole place was very dirty and falling apart. There was a rickety dock where Lorac and Mij liked to go and throw rocks in the water. Neither one of the children could swim and their parents told them to be very careful down there. An old man named Roy lived up on the top of the hill, he didn't like these two kids – mind you – he didn't like anybody. He saw the two kids playing on the dock one day and said 'be careful you don't fall in the water – The Legend might get you'. Mij asked him 'what's the legend?' Roy said 'it's a big ole fish that likes to eat little children'. Mij and Lorac asked their Mom if this was true. Absolutely Not' she said, fish do not eat kids – kids eat fish.

So Mij figured if there was a big fish in this Jake he was going to catch it. One day the children were down on the dock and Mij had a fishing pole. They were just looking in the water and saw a flash of movement and there came gliding into view a huge long fish, almost as long as the dock. Mij grabbed his pole, threw in his line and almost instantly felt a tug on the end. 'I got him now'. Lorac hurried to help him. They couldn't see the fish they could just feel the tug on the line .Lorac tried to help hold the rod and jiggled it. All of a sudden the tug went away. Mij was furious he had lost the fish.

The parents of Mij and Lorac decided it was time the children learned to swim. Several of the town children had to learn how also. They all started to swim at the Forestry beach and most were swimming in no time at all. Lorac was having a hard time, it seemed if she swam off her dock it was easier. Other children who were having a hard time also found it easier when swimming at Lorac dock.

What they didn't know was The Legend was helping them. The big fish would swim around under the children and make the water more buoyant so the children could swim easier. All the children learned to swim from this dock.

The old dock and boathouse were torn down as they had become dangerous and a new dock was built. The children grew up and occasionally someone would see a flash of a fin in the water. As the years passed it seemed as if all children who swam off that dock swam like a fish!!!

Lorac got married and moved to the city with her husband Cire. They had three daughters and wanted them to learn to swim before taking them to The Lake. They put them in swimming lessons at the 'Y' .the girls were not real good at swimming but holidays were coming and off to the lake they went. Lorac and Cire knew they would have to keep a close eye on the girls so no accidents happened. So on a very beautiful Saturday down to the dock they went. The girls jumped into the water and in no time flat were swimming around like little fishes. Old Legend was still down there in the deep water helping children to swim.

As these children grew up their Gram decided to sell the place and move to the other side of the bay. Her new home wasn't right on the water but across the road. She did have a rickety old dock to tie her old boat to tho.

Time passed (far too quickly, some would say). Ilah, the youngest of the three girls was fully grown now and she had a daughter of her own. Her name was Gracie.

Gracie loved The Lake. She wore water wings or a life jacket when she went in the water. One day she wanted to try swimming without the wings, or jacket. As Ilah and her mom Lorac and her mom Gram watched, Gracie jumped in the water and all of a sudden there were circles in the water and Gracie felt very light and buoyant and was swimming beautifully, immediately. Ilah and Lorac and Gram looked at each other and knew. Old Legend had come to this side of the bay to live under the rickety old dock and was helping Gracie to swim. From that day on any child who wanted to learn to swim would come to Gram's old dock. They all learned to swim fast and beautifully – just like fish!!!!!!!