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Somebody's Girl Excerpt
He got interested in the center pretty soon, especially in Fin, the man who swam down the whole Fraser River, rapids and all, not once, but twice. Martha resisted getting interested herself. Instead, she just trailed after him, collecting the research. Whenever they found themselves near the other girls, she pretended that she didn’t care. When it was time for the break, she grabbed her juice and a couple of cookies and slipped away toward the big glass doors. Chance had gone straight for Ken, and they were sitting with that busybody, Doug, so he wasn’t going to bother her. Martha tore open her packet of cookies and found herself gazing outside at the wooden promenade. Beyond that was the river. She glanced over her shoulder. Not one person from her group was watching her. She took a bite of cookie, and leaned into the door, pushing it open.
About the Book
Nominated for Saskatchewan’s Diamond Willow Award.
Winners to be announced in April 2013.
A scratchy sound pulled her attention back to the pier. She looked to her left and jumped. A crow was sidling along the railing toward her, its beady black eye intent on her remaining cookie.
Martha had never been that close to a crow--or any bird, for that matter. She stared right into its black eye, and the crow stared back, moving its scaly feet every now and again, as if to remind her of the food she held. At last, Martha released the railing, tore her eye off the creature, and broke her cookie into pieces. Turning, she dropped one bit, a quarter maybe, onto the wood near her feet. The crow spread its wings and, somewhat awkwardly, fell upon the scrap of food. Martha watched, delighted, for the seconds it took for the bit of cookie to disappear into the crow. Then she looked up and took a step back.
Several crows and even more seagulls were bearing down upon her.
Unease overtook wonder, and she retreated toward the building, scattering the rest of the cookie as far from her as she could. Well out of the way, she watched the birds battle over the crumbs, screeching and cawing and pecking.
"Ah. You fed them, didn’t you?" Doug said.
She looked up at him. "There was only one crow, and I gave him just a bit," she said. She was mad at Doug, she reminded herself. But then, she had no one else to tell.
"Food brings them out in droves," he said. "Try eating fish and chips at the beach!"
Martha shrugged. She knew better than to eat fish and chips at the beach. Too much sand and dirt, her mother said.
She turned back to watch the crows—who had been scrabbling at her feet a moment ago—flying together over the river.
"They stick together," she said. "The crows."
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