MidReal Story

Island Paws: Max's Journey Home

Scenario: a lost dog is left alone on a remote island. as he struggles to survive in the little wilderness, he meets new animal friends, that help him along his journey to find a way get out of this island.
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a lost dog is left alone on a remote island. as he struggles to survive in the little wilderness, he meets new animal friends, that help him along his journey to find a way get out of this island.
As the minutes turned into hours, and still there was no sign of them, I started to wonder if maybe they had gone home without me or driven off a cliff and crashed their car, but just as that thought began to make panic bubble inside of me, something caught my eye in the distance, something swimming through the water, something big enough to be a person or maybe even two people if they were holding hands or swimming side by side or tandem surfing together on the same surfboard.
I woke up and my family was gone.
“Mom, Dad, is that you?”
I called out as loud as I could, but the thing in the water didn’t turn around or come back or even stop swimming; it just kept going farther and farther away until it disappeared completely out of sight.
I was alone on a strange island.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the waves were crashing on the shore.
I sat down on a rock and put my head in my paws and felt tears begin to fall down my face.
It was a beautiful day, but I was scared.
I missed my family so much.
Where was my family?
I wanted to go home right now and hug them and never let them go ever again, but that probably wasn’t going to happen because I was stuck on an island all alone with no way of getting home again unless I could fix a boat or fly a plane or build a bridge out of rocks that stretched all the way across the ocean from shore to shore like the rainbow bridge or a stairway to heaven or a road paved with gold.
How did I get here?
I walked up and down the beach for hours and hours, hoping that maybe if I walked long enough or far enough, I would eventually find a bridge or a boat or a plane or something else that would take me back home again, but all I found was more sand, more rocks, more trees, and more water all around me, and nothing else in sight except for a giant turtle swimming through the ocean with its head above the water so it could breathe.
I turned around and looked at it, and it looked at me too, and then it turned around and swam toward the shore, and when it reached the shore, it waddled out of the water and onto the sand, and when it reached me, it stopped and stared at me with its beady little eyes, and then it said “Hello” in a slow, deep voice that sounded like an echo coming from inside of a cave.
I sniffed the air and smelled salt water, fish, and something else that I couldn’t quite identify.
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I heard a splash in the water and turned to see a sleek brown otter swimming toward me.
“Hello,” she said when she reached the shore.
“I’m Olivia Otter.
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Who are you?”
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“I’m Max Barkley,” I said.
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I introduced myself as Max Barkley, still trying to wrap my head around the idea of speaking to an animal.
“Do you live here?”
“It’s very nice to meet you,” said the turtle.
“Yes,” she said with a nod.
“My name is Terry Turtle, and I am very happy to have met you too.”
“This is my home.”
“Nice to meet you too,” said Olivia Otter, who had arrived while we were talking.
“Do you know how I got here?”
“My name is Olivia Otter, but everyone just calls me Olivia.”
“No,” she said with a shake of her head.
“Well, it’s very nice to meet you also,” said Terry Turtle in his slow, deep voice as he turned around to face her with his beady little eyes.
“I found you sleeping on the beach this morning.”
“Can I ask what brings you here today?”
I looked around at the sand, rocks, trees, and water.
“I came here to help Max Barkley find his family,” said Olivia Otter, pointing at me when she said my name.
It was all so different from my home in the city.
“Is that so?”
I must have slept through our camping trip and woken up here on the beach instead.
“I didn’t even know that he had lost them.”
I’m sure my family is looking for me,” I said.
“He didn’t lose them,” said Olivia Otter with a laugh.
“I should go home and wait for them to find me.”
“They just wandered off while he was sleeping in the car on his way here.”
The otter looked at me curiously.
“Oh, I see,” said Terry Turtle with a nod of his head that sounded like a rock being dropped onto another rock in slow motion.
“What’s a family?”
“Well, in that case, we shall do our best to help him find them.”
she asked.
“That would be wonderful,” said Olivia Otter.
My heart raced and my stomach churned.
“I’m sure Max Barkley would appreciate it very much.”
This was not good.
“Yes, yes, of course,” said Terry Turtle with a nod of his head.
If she didn’t know what a family was, then she probably didn’t know how to get me back to mine.
I was so confused by everything they were saying and doing that I didn’t know what to think or say or do or anything else except stand there and look at them with my mouth open and my eyes wide and my paws crossed behind my back and my tail between my legs.
How was I going to get home now?
It’s not every day that you run into animals who can talk and walk and help you find your family when you’re lost on an island all alone with no way of finding your way home again.
I sat down on the sand and put my head in my paws.
It was all just too much for me to take in all at once.
I didn’t know what else to do.
“Let’s get started right away,” said Olivia Otter.
When I woke up, I was lying on the hot sand, and my feet burned when I stood up.
“We’ll never find Max Barkley’s family if we just stand around talking about it all day.”
My throat was dry and scratchy, and I needed a drink of water.
“Yes, yes, of course,” said Terry Turtle as he turned around to face me with his beady little eyes.
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I looked around, but there was no one in sight.
“You look thirsty and tired and hungry and scared.
“Mom, Dad, are you here?”
We’ll need to find some fresh water for you to drink and some food for you to eat and some shade for you to sleep in until we can find your family and take you back home again.”
I called out, but no one answered.
“Yes, thank you,” I said in between gasps for air as I tried to catch my breath after hearing everything they had just told me.
My little sister wasn’t there either.
I couldn’t remember how I got to the beach or why I was there all alone.
The last thing I remembered was falling asleep in the car while my family drove to the mountains for our summer vacation.
Maybe my parents had carried me to the beach and lay me down in the sand because it was cooler than the car, but then they forgot about me and went camping without me?
That didn’t make any sense.
“Where is everybody?”
I called out again, but no one answered.
There were no buildings or people or cars or anything on the beach.
A cold shiver ran down my spine, and I felt a lump form in my throat.
The sun was shining, and the sky was blue, but something was wrong.
This wasn’t a normal beach; it was an island, and if I was on an island, that meant that there was water all around me, and water meant that I couldn’t walk home again, even if I wanted to, and that made me feel scared.
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The otter appeared out of nowhere and asked where my family was.
I shook my head, and she tilted hers to one side, but she didn’t say anything else, and neither did I because I didn’t know what to say.
I had never met an otter before, and I didn’t know what otters liked to talk about, so I asked her if she knew how I got to the island, and she said no.
“Then how did you get here?”
“I was born here,” she said as if it were obvious.
She looked at me for a while, but again, she didn’t say anything more, and neither did I because I didn’t know what else to say.
I walked up and down the beach, looking around in all directions, hoping to see a sign or a clue that would tell me where my family went.
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