We took it down to the channel on the weekend for its official launch. While the inlet's passage to the sea is open for a few months each summer the water runs clear and blue through the channel under the peppermint trees. Children swing from ropes looped around the trees' weathered old limbs into the deeper water near the crumbling banks, and toddlers splash around their parents' legs in the shallows. On Sunday the sky turned steely grey. The relentless summer winds had filled the sandbar's narrow mouth with pure white sand and stilled the waters' flow. So we had the channel to ourselves and Lewis could imagine himself alone on the wide open waters of the Mississippi.
I finished the book alone last night and lay it aside for a few years along with the tales of piracy and adventure which have proved a little overwhelming for my boy's imagination. They are classics of boyhood which I never chanced to read as a girl. Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island - tales of shipwreck and discovery. I am looking forward to revisiting them when he is ready. But I would say Huckleberry Finn still captured his heart, even if Tom Sawyer remains his hero.