Previously, Coydog followed Rabbit and Tortoise away from the bike races to the kayak rental store. She’s agreed to be a judge in the next leg of their race.
They were soon underway in their rented kayaks. Tortoise had insisted on paying for their fees despite Coydog’s offer to procure boats for them. She wasn’t sure she’d listened to the safety talk either based on the way she shoved off into the water and left her paddle behind. She was using her life jacket as a pillow and had her feet propped up.
Hare was much more diligent in her paddling technique. She sat up properly and power paddled down the river in a full sprint. She’d tire out after several moments of this and pause the catch her breath.
Tortoise believed that slow and steady wins the race. She let the river provide most of the power while using her paddle to stay on course. Her posture was more relaxed than Hare’s but a sight better than Coydog’s. She would watch Hare dart ahead then catch up with her whenever her friend stopped to breathe.
Coydog just drifted along behind them, letting the river do all the work. She occasionally bumped off a tree or rock or went around in a circle when the wind overpowered the current. She didn’t seem to mind; she’d eventually get to the same place.
Hare and Tortoise had paused to have a conversation with Eagle who was tending her nest near the river’s edge. Eagle glared suspiciously at Coydog when she floated by. Coydog just waved.
“Hey, Eagle. Nice eaglets you’ve got there.” She spun around in a slow circle. “Where’s your mate?”
Eagle answered frostily, “Getting food for the little ones. He at least is productive.”
Coydog chuckled. “That’s good. Someone has to be.” She floated on by, ignoring the tsking from Hare and Tortoise.
Coydog found Eagle’s mate standing in the river just around the bend. She called out, “Hi there. I hear you’re being productive.”
Eagle watched as Coydog drifted by sideways. “More so than you.” He held up two fish. “See? Food for my little darlings.”
Coydog nodded. “Nicely done. Well, see you later.” She closed her eyes and pretended to fall asleep.
Eagle puffed up with pride and took off into the sky to fly back to his nest. Coydog opened one eye then sat up and threw a rock up at Eagle, knocking one of the fish out of his claws. The fish fell and Coydog dove into the water to catch it. She climbed back up on her kayak and tossed the fish in the bottom for later. Eagle glared at her but continued flying.
Hare caught up with her. “That was rude.”
Coydog settled back. “Was it?”
She sniffed, “I just hope the rest of us don’t suffer when he catches up with you.”