Sail On Little Boats

The Stream Was Dry

This year our favorite boat-racing stream was dry. Last year it had been the perfect place for sailing handmade boats. The Canyon stream was still running too high for all these little people. Other things crowded in and it was the evening of a very busy day before the boats were built.

All Shapes and Sizes

Out came the little pieces of driftwood, the corks of different sizes, the heavy rubber bands and the flat sticks. Uncle Tim to some and Dad to the rest, the most patient of all boat builders, gathered the children around him on the grass and for several hours, off and on, they built boats and sailed them in the deserted rubber swimming pool.

It wasn’t the stream, but it was fun.

Still covered with pirate tattoos and face paint, these boat builders had time to make as many boats as they wanted to. Tim stayed right with them and helped when their little fingers were frustrated or couldn’t quite make the twist or balance the driftwood.

When the boats flipped over or the paddles wouldn’t paddle . . . he had a solution. His oft-repeated line was “we can fix it”.

You can usually sit in Utah grass.  There are no centipedes, tarantulas, fire ants, snakes or other fearful crawling things. The children who live in different places, love to visit and run barefoot through the grass.

There they sat, in the shade, with little more than an occasional “look at my boat” to break the quiet of the peaceful evening. They built and built and built.

Where did all of these ideas come from?


-Robert Louis Stevenson-

Dark brown is the river, golden is the sand

It flows along forever, with trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating, castles of the foam,

Boats of mine a-boating – where will all come home ?

Away down the river, a hundred miles or more,

Other little children will bring my boats ashore.






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