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Blue Moon Beach by Sue Murray


Summer Days

 I’m sitting and watching birds. I’m at Blue Moon Beach. I think it is the best beach in the world. The water is warm and blue. The sand is very white. Blue Moon Beach is my beach. I’ve lived here all my life. Other people come here for a week or two. They swim at the beach. They come to see the fish too. There are many fish in the water at Blue Moon Beach. My name is Samuel Martin. At home I am called ‘Sammy’. At school I am ‘Sam’. I like the name Sam. I think I’m too old to be Sammy now. I am fifteen.

I live with my mother and father in our hotel – Blue Moon Hotel. When I was little I loved all the rooms and the stairs. I loved the big kitchen and all the food. I liked the people who came to stay. I played with lots of children who came with their families. What I like now are the animals and birds that live near our hotel. I like the sea eagles best. I want to write a book about them one day. They are big, strong birds. Sea eagles are the kings of all the birds. They fly over the water to look for food.

When I was little there were lots of sea eagles at Blue Moon Beach. This year there are only two sea eagles. Why? Because there are not many trees now. Sea eagles need trees. Now there are lots of houses. It makes me angry. I don’t want the birds to leave Blue Moon Beach. Today is the first day of summer – no school for five weeks! Five weeks to swim and watch the sea eagles. I’m lying on the sand. I’m watching one sea eagle. It is on the rocks at the end of the beach. I haven’t seen the other sea eagle today.

Two men are walking along the beach. I don’t think they are here to swim. They are wearing dark clothes. They are wearing shoes and socks. People never wear shoes and socks at Blue Moon Beach. The men stop near me they look at the rocks. They must be looking at the sea eagle. They talk quietly. Who are they? They see me looking at them and then they walk away.

I go for a swim. I love swimming. There are a lot of people in the water today but not many of them swim out in the deep water. I swim out a long way. There are a lot of fish swimming below me. I lie in the water and look up. I see the sea eagle flying above me. I love being out in the water at Blue Moon Beach. The sun is high in the sky. It’s time for lunch and I’m hungry. I swim back to the beach and then I walk back to the hotel.

‘Sammy,’ Mum calls from her office. It is at the front of the hotel.

‘Yes, Mum?’ I say.

‘Dad needs your help in the kitchen after lunch,’ she says.

‘Today? But it’s the first day of summer, Mum. I want to go swimming again this afternoon. And the birds…’

‘I want to go swimming too,’ says Mum. ‘But we all have to work. We have a lot of visitors.’

She looks tired. She works very hard.

‘Okay, Mum.’

Mum smiles at me. ‘Thank you, Sammy,’ she says.

‘Sam, Mum, not Sammy. I’m not a little boy now. I’m fifteen.’ ‘Okay… Sam. Go and eat lunch. Then help your father.’

I go into the kitchen. Dad is cooking. I think he is the best cook in the world. He uses lots of pots. I’ll have to wash them after lunch.

‘Hello, Sammy,’ says Dad. ‘It’s time for lunch. Are you hungry?’ ‘Yes! And it smells very good.’

After lunch I help my father. We clean the kitchen. I wash the pots and Dad washes the floor. I like to work with Dad. Some boys don’t see their fathers very often. But Dad and I are good friends.

‘How are your birds today, Sammy?’ Dad asks.

‘The mother is there. I want to see if there are eggs in the nest. Sea eagles always have two eggs.’

‘Eggs?’ Dad says. ‘It’s a long time since I’ve seen a baby sea eagle.’ ‘Yes,’ I say.

We have nearly finished cleaning the kitchen. ‘Can I go now, Dad?’ I ask.

‘Okay, Sammy.’

‘Dad – my name is Sam, not Sammy.’ I often say this to Mum and Dad.

They forget.

‘Okay, Sam. Go on – look at your beautiful birds.’ ‘Thank you, Dad.’

I walk through the hotel. I open the front door quietly but Mum hears me.

‘Sammy? Come here, please,’ she calls from the office.

Shall I run? It is a beautiful, warm day. I don’t want to do any more work today. I run.

Mum comes out of the office. ‘Stop, Sammy!’ she calls. I stop. I walk back to the office.

‘Dad and I have nearly finished cleaning the kitchen, Mum,’ I say. ‘I need to talk to you now,’ Mum says.

‘But Mum, I want to see the sea eagles.’ ‘Sam,’ says Mum. ‘Please.’

So I sit and listen.

‘A boy is coming here today with his mother. His name is Tim Bailey. I want you to show him the village. Take him to the beach.’

‘But Mum, I want to watch the sea eagles. The mother has been in the nest all day. They’ll have baby sea eagles in the nest soon.’

‘Sam, please listen. Tim’s mother, Mary, was my best friend at school. They live in the city now. Tim’s father died after being sick for a long time. Mary is very sad. Tim is sad too. I asked them to come here. The sea air will be good for them. Tim needs a friend. I told his mother you will be Tim’s friend.’

Mum looks at me. I look at the floor. I don’t want to be friends with Tim. I don’t want Mum telling me who to be friends with. I want to swim and watch the sea eagles.

‘Mum – do I have to?’ ‘Yes, you do.’

‘All right, Mum,’ I say.


Tim Can’t Swim

 ‘This is my son, Sammy,’ says Mum to Tim and his mother. ‘Hello, Sammy,’ says Tim’s mother. Tim doesn’t speak.

Tim is tall and thin. He has black hair and he is very white. Maybe he never goes out in the sun. His clothes are new. My clothes are old. There are holes in my T-shirt. Mum wants to buy me new T-shirts. But I like my old clothes. I look at Tim and he looks at me. We don’t smile. ‘You boys can go and play now,’ says my mother. ‘Mum!’ I say quietly. ‘I don’t play. I’m fifteen.’ ‘Take Tim to the beach, Sammy,’ says Mum. ‘Come on, Tim,’ I say.

‘Wear a hat, Tim,’ says his mother. ‘And wear your T-shirt all the time.

Stay in the shallow water. Be back in an hour.’

Tim says, ‘Mum, stop it.’ He looks at me and says, ‘Come on.’ He doesn’t wait for me. He walks away.

His mother calls, ‘Tim, you forgot your hat!’ I take the hat from her and I follow Tim to the beach.

I stand on the sand and look for Tim. For a minute I can’t see him. But then I see him at the other end of the beach. I walk along the beach and give him his hat.

‘You don’t have to stay with me,’ Tim says. ‘You don’t want to, do you?

Our mothers are friends. We’re not friends.’ What can I say?

‘Just go away,’ Tim says. He sits on the sand and looks out to sea. ‘Okay, I will,’ I say.

I go to the rocks. I sit quietly and watch the mother sea eagle. She has not left the nest all day. I watched the eagles making the nest. It took a long time. They worked hard. They flew away and returned with sticks again and again. They brought back lots of leaves too. Now one sea eagle is always sitting in the nest.

I look down at the beach. I can’t see Tim. Maybe he went back to the hotel.

The men are on the beach again. The bigger man is talking into a mobile phone. The other one is looking out to sea and up into the sky. What is he looking for? The men are walking towards me. The bigger man puts his mobile phone away. He looks at me then talks to the other man. They both look at me then walk away. Who are they?

I see the second sea eagle flying over the beach. He flies over the sand, then over the water. He flies in circles, looking for food. Suddenly he drops down into the water. He flies up again, carrying a large fish. He will take the fish to the nest. The mother sea eagle must be very hungry.

Just as the bird flies near me, a boy climbs up the rocks next to the nest. It is Tim. It is hard to climb those rocks. They are big and there aren’t many places to put your hands and feet. Tim doesn’t see me. He walks towards the sea eagles’ nest.

Oh, no! Both the sea eagles are flying away. Tim has scared them. When people go near a nest, the birds fly off. And the eggs – the eggs will get cold!

‘Get away!’ I scream at Tim.

I jump up and run towards him. I’m very angry. I want to hit him. Tim sees me. Now he looks scared. The sea eagles are flying in circles above us.

‘Get away,’ I scream again.

Tim doesn’t want to come near me. He tries to climb down the rocks to get away from me. He’s going very fast. Suddenly he falls off the rocks. I hear him hit the water.

He’ll be okay, I think. I’ll wait for him to swim back to the beach. City boys should stay in the city.

I start walking back to the beach. Then I hear Tim screaming from the water, ‘Help! Help! I can’t swim.’ Suddenly I’m very scared.


Out at Night

 ‘Help!’ calls Tim again.

I run over the rocks and jump into the deep water. There are no other people near us. I swim out to Tim. We are both very scared. ‘It’s okay,’ I say to him. ‘I’ll help you. Hold onto me.’

Tim holds onto me. We both go under the water. Then I swim and I pull Tim up. We both get our heads above the water.

‘Lie back in the water, Tim,’ I say. ‘I can’t.’

‘Yes, you can. Just try. I’ll hold you,’ I say.

I hold onto his arm. He lies back in the water. I start swimming. I have to swim for a long time. I talk to Tim as I swim. ‘It’s okay, Tim. We’re nearly there.’

When we get to the shallow water, Tim and I just sit in the water. Then we get out and we both lie down on the warm sand. I am very tired.

‘Thanks,’ says Tim. ‘I was very scared.’ ‘I was too,’ I say.

‘Why did you scream at me on the rocks?’ asks Tim.

‘Because you were near the sea eagles’ nest,’ I say. ‘They are scared of us.’

‘Oh,’ says Tim. ‘I don’t know much about birds.’

‘Look – there. Do you see them? Both the sea eagles are flying over the water. One of them needs to go back to the nest to sit on the eggs. I’m worried about the eggs. They must stay warm.’

‘I’m sorry,’ says Tim. He watches the sea eagles. ‘They are beautiful.’

‘I think so too,’ I say. I look at my watch. ‘Come on. We must hurry.

We’re late.’

We walk quickly back to the hotel. I’m worried. What will Tim say to his mother? My mother will be very angry if she knows what I did.

Tim’s mother comes running from the hotel.

‘Tim, where have you been? You’re late! And you’re all wet! You didn’t go in the water, did you? Oh, Tim!’ She is very angry with him.

Tim looks at me. Then he looks at his mother.

‘Sorry, Mum,’ he says. ‘I tried to swim. I couldn’t do it. The water was very deep. Sam saved me.’

‘Tim – how could you?’ His mother is going to cry. ‘I won’t do it again, Mum. Sorry.’

She looks at me. ‘Thank you so much, Sammy. You are a good friend. Thank you for saving Tim.’

I don’t know what to say. My mother comes out of the hotel. Tim’s mother calls to her, ‘Sammy saved Tim. Tim can’t swim. Your son is a hero!’

I don’t think I’m a hero. I feel bad. Tim didn’t try to swim. I screamed at him and he fell into the water. We both know it. I look at Tim and he looks at me. He smiles and I smile back.

‘My hero!’ says Mum. ‘Come in and put on some dry clothes, both of you. Then I’ll make you some hot chocolate.’

I love hot chocolate. Mum makes the best hot chocolate in the world. I drink it very slowly. Tim does too. We’re sitting in the kitchen. Mum is back in her office. Dad comes in.

‘I hear my son is a hero,’ he says. ‘Well done, Sammy.’ ‘Thanks, Dad – but…’

I feel bad. Everyone thinks I’m a hero.

‘Sam swims very well, Mr Martin,’ says Tim quickly. ‘And he’s going to help me learn about sea eagles.’

‘You and your sea eagles, Sammy,’ says Dad. He smiles at Tim. ‘Sammy is always talking about those birds.’

‘Do you want some hot chocolate, Dad?’ I ask him. ‘There is some in the pot.’

‘No thanks, Sammy. I think I’ll have some coffee.’ ‘Good,’ I say. ‘More hot chocolate for you and me, Tim!’ ‘Yes, please,’ says Tim. ‘I’d love some more.’

After dinner, Tim and I sit outside. It is a warm night but it is very dark. There is no moon. Our mothers are sitting inside, talking and talking. Dad is in the kitchen, cooking. He cooks all the meals for the people who stay at Blue Moon Hotel. He loves cooking but it is a big job.

‘It’s good to be out here,’ says Tim. ‘It’s quiet. My mother talks and talks. She asked you a lot of questions about this afternoon. I’m sorry about that. But she worries about me.’

‘That’s okay,’ I say.

‘After Dad died…’ Tim stops, then he says, ‘It’s just Mum and me now.

She only has me.’

What can I say? I don’t speak for a minute. Then I say, ‘I’m worried about the sea eagles. They need to keep the eggs warm all the time. I want to know one of them is back on the nest. I’m going to have a look. I like to go for a walk at night. If you’re quiet, you see a lot of birds and animals who come out at night. Do you want to come with me?’

‘Now?’ asks Tim. ‘Yes,’ I say.

‘No, thanks. Mum says I can’t go out at night.’

I think for a minute. ‘When does she go to bed?’ I ask. ‘Early. She always goes to bed early.’

‘Okay. We’ll go out after your mother goes to bed.’

Tim thinks for a minute. ‘Okay. I’ll come. Mum won’t know.’

Later, Tim and I walk very quietly down the stairs and out of the hotel. My parents are watching television. Tim’s mother is in her room. We walk down to the beach. We go along a road towards the rocks. It is very dark.

‘People never come here at night,’ I say to Tim.

‘Don’t they?’ he says. ‘Then what is that truck doing there?’ ‘What truck?’ I ask.

‘Look – over there.’

There is a truck. It isn’t easy to see. It is under some trees. Tim and I walk over to the truck. The back doors of the truck are open so we look inside. There are a lot of boxes, bags, nets and ropes in the truck.

‘Oh, no,’ I say.

‘What’s wrong?’ Tim asks me.

‘We must be careful, Tim,’ I say quietly. ‘I think bird smugglers use these things.’

‘How do you know that?’ asks Tim.

‘I saw something about it on television. Look – there are air holes in the boxes.’

‘Why are there bird smugglers here?’ asks Tim.

‘The sea eagles!’ I say. ‘Bird smugglers take sea eagles and other birds. Then they sell the birds for a lot of money in other countries. They put these nets and ropes near birds’ nests. Then they scare the birds. The birds fly into the nets. The bird smugglers take the birds out of the nets and put them in these boxes.’

I open one of the bags. It has some bird food in it. Another bag has some fish in it. Sea eagles love fish.

‘You’re right, Sam,’ says Tim. ‘What do we do now?’

‘We need to stop the bird smugglers,’ I say to Tim. ‘And quickly.’


Where is Tim?

 ‘We must get help,’ says Tim. ‘I’ll stay here and watch the truck. You go and get help.’

‘Okay. I’ll go and get Constable Carter. He’s the police officer here in Blue Moon Beach. But first I want to see what the smugglers are doing. I’m going to have a quick look. I want to tell Constable Carter all about them. He’ll need to know how many there are and what they are doing. I want to see if the sea eagles are okay too.’

‘Okay, but be very careful, Sam,’ says Tim. ‘And be quick!’

‘I’ll be careful. You be careful too, Tim. Be very quiet and listen for the smugglers. Stay here under this tree. They must not see you. Stay away from the truck,’ I say.

‘Okay,’ says Tim.

I run through the trees. I know the way to the nest very well. I’m really worried about the sea eagles – and their eggs. I try to be quiet. I’m scared the smugglers will see me or hear me. I know I am near the nest.

Suddenly, I hear some people coming. Then I see two men. They are the men I saw on the beach this morning.

‘Come on, come on,’ one says. ‘We’re late. We mustn’t stay here too long. The boat is waiting for us at Sunshine Bay.’

‘Okay, okay,’ says the other man. ‘Ow! It bit me!’

The men have the sea eagles. They are the smugglers! I am angry. I want to scream at them. But most of all, I want to get the birds back. So I am quiet and I don’t move. I can see that the men have knives. I don’t want the

birds to get hurt. And the men are both bigger and stronger than me. What can I do to stop them? It’s best to leave this to the police, I think. Constable Carter will know what to do.

I move quietly behind a tree.

‘What’s that?’ says the smaller man. He looks towards me. It is very dark. Can he see me? I am really scared. I close my eyes.

‘What’s what?’ says the other one. ‘Over there. I saw…’

‘Come on, Mac. It’s dark. You can’t see a thing. Stop worrying. We’re nearly at the truck.’

The truck – Tim! The men walk on. They are carrying the birds. The birds are making a lot of noise. Has Tim heard the men and the birds?

I follow the men quietly. I hear some noise, then I hear the truck start. I run. The truck isn’t there any more.

‘Tim? Tim!’ I call. ‘Tim!’

Where is Tim? Did the smugglers see him? Is Tim in the truck with the birds? Is he hurt?

‘Tim! Tim!’ There’s no answer.


Finding the Truck

 I must get help. I start running. The hotel is closer than Constable Carter’s house. Dad will know what to do. Dad will help. But Mum and Dad will be very angry with me. It was wrong to take Tim out at night. It was wrong to look for the birds after we saw the truck. Worst of all, it was wrong to leave Tim with the truck. His mother will be very worried and very angry. No, I won’t go to the hotel.

I’ll run to Constable Carter’s house. Blue Moon village isn’t very big. I know where he lives. His house is next to my school. It is only two kilometres from the beach.

What can one police officer do to stop the smugglers? I heard where the smugglers are going – Sunshine Bay. I can tell Constable Carter. Perhaps he’ll phone the police officer there. And that police officer can stop the smugglers.

It’s very dark but I know the roads well. I run and run. Will Constable Carter be at home? The police officer in Sunshine Bay must stop the truck. I’m very worried about Tim and the birds. Is Tim okay? I try not to cry.

It is late at night. There are no cars on the road. There are no houses here. Then I see it – the truck! It’s stopped on the side of the road. I stop running.

The two smugglers are standing beside the truck. The bigger one is very angry. He hits the truck. ‘You drive this truck every day. You must know what’s wrong with it. Why won’t it go? We must get out of here.’

The second man just stands there. He looks very unhappy.

I need to open the back doors of the truck. I need to see if Tim is in there. I need to get the sea eagles out. I walk very quietly and very slowly to the truck.

The men are at the front of the truck now. One of them is talking on his mobile phone. He says, ‘Yes, we’re at Blue Moon Beach. Yes, we have the birds. But we can’t drive the truck.’ He is quiet, then he says, ‘It just stopped. I don’t know why. We can’t start it again. What do we do now?’ He’s quiet again. Then he says, ‘Okay, we’ll wait for you to call us back. But don’t be long.’

I am at the back door of the truck. Very quietly I start to open the door.

I am very, very scared. ‘Psst… Sam!’

The voice comes from the dark trees beside the truck. I stare into the trees.

‘It’s me,’ Tim calls quietly.

I walk very slowly over to the trees. I see Tim. He’s under the biggest

We talk very quietly.

‘Are you okay, Tim? Are you hurt?’ ‘I’m all right,’ he says.

‘I’m sorry, Tim,’ I say to him. He smiles at me. ‘Why?’

‘Because I left you with the truck. Because I didn’t go to the police

officer’s house. I went to look at the birds.’

‘That’s okay,’ says Tim. ‘I stopped the smugglers. I stopped their truck.’ He smiles again.

‘You stopped the truck? How?’ I forget to be quiet and Tim puts his hand over my mouth.

‘Sh! Be quiet and I’ll tell you. After you left me, I thought about what to do. I know a lot about trucks and cars. My grandfather has a farm. He works on his trucks and cars. I help him. I love it. So I knew what to do with the smugglers’ truck. I got under it and I hit the fuel pipe with a rock.’

‘What’s a fuel pipe?’ I ask quietly.

The men are sitting in the truck now. They must be waiting for the mobile phone to ring. The windows are closed so they can’t hear us.

‘You don’t know much about cars and trucks, do you?’ says Tim with a smile. ‘The fuel pipe takes petrol to the engine. The engine needs petrol to go.’

‘I know that!’ I say.

‘Okay. So I hit the fuel pipe again and again. Now the petrol can’t get through to the engine.’

‘Well done!’ I say.

‘Then those men came back with the birds and they put the birds in the back of the truck. I watched from behind a big rock,’ says Tim. ‘The men were careful with the birds, though. They didn’t hurt them.’

‘What about the eggs?’ I ask. ‘Did the smugglers take them too? Are they in the truck? They mustn’t get cold.’

‘I don’t know where the eggs are,’ says Tim. ‘I didn’t see them.’ ‘What happened next?’ I ask.

‘Well, the men got into the truck and the engine started. I was worried. I thought, ‘There’s petrol left in the engine and the fuel pipe.’ I didn’t know what to do, so I jumped into the back of the truck. The truck went for a while but then the engine stopped. So I jumped out… and here I am.’

I smile, but then Tim says, ‘What do we do now?’

‘I don’t know,’ I say. ‘I want to get the birds out of the truck, but we can’t. They will make a lot of noise and the men will hear. Also the birds are very heavy. We can’t carry them far.’

‘We need to go to the police officer’s house,’ says Tim. ‘But we can’t leave. The smugglers will see us.’

We both sit quietly for a while. Then I know what to do.

‘Tim! We need to get some ropes and nets out of the truck. We must do it very quietly.’

Tim comes with me to the truck. We open the back door very slowly. I look in. I can’t see the sea eagles. I do see some large boxes. Perhaps the birds are in them. I take some ropes out of the truck. This must work!


The Men See Us

 I’m standing at the back of the truck. The bigger man gets out of the truck. He is talking on his mobile phone again. He is angry.

‘No, we can’t wait,’ he says. ‘You must come and get us now.’ Suddenly he sees me.

‘I know who you are!’ I scream at him. ‘You’re a bird smuggler. You have sea eagles in your truck. I’m going to get the police!’ I start running away from the truck.

‘Hey!’ He puts his mobile phone away. ‘You! Stop!’ He shouts to the other smuggler, ‘Mac! Come here, quickly. I’ve found a boy. He knows about the birds.’

I hear the truck door opening. Mac shouts, ‘Stop!’ too. They both run after me. I look back at them. The bigger man is holding his knife! I am very scared.

I jump over some ropes on the road. ‘Now, Tim, now!’ I shout.

Tim is standing on the other side of the road. He is holding onto the ropes. He pulls them. Suddenly there are nets and ropes in front of the smugglers. Both men run into the nets. The bigger man drops his knife. He puts his hands up to try to get out of the nets. Tim pulls the ropes. I help him. The men are shouting. Tim and I are screaming. We sit on the smugglers but the men are very strong and very angry. We can’t hold them for very long. Will they get out of the nets?

‘Help! Help!’ I shout.

‘Get off me!’ shouts the bigger man. A car drives up and stops.

‘Is that you, Sam?’ It’s the police officer, Constable Carter. He is getting out of his car.

‘Sam? Are you okay? I had a phone call from the people down the road.

They said they heard a lot of people shouting. Who are these men?’

‘Oh, Constable Carter – it’s so good to see you. These men are bird smugglers! They put the sea eagles in the back of their truck.’

The men try to get away from us. But Constable Carter soon has them in the back of the police car. He calls on his radio for more police. He sees the knife on the ground.

‘Sam! These men had knives!’

‘I know. Tim and I had to help the sea eagles, Constable Carter,’ I say quietly. ‘Can we look in the truck now? I need to know the birds are okay.’

I look into the boxes. The birds are not hurt. Best of all, the eggs are in one of the boxes.

Constable Carter looks at the birds and the eggs. ‘Well done, boys!’ ‘What will Mum say?’ says Tim.

We both smile.



 Tim and I help Constable Carter put the sea eagles – and their eggs – back in the nest. It’s not easy. The birds are very heavy and they don’t like us holding them. One bird bites me. The other police officers have taken the smugglers away. They are going to go to Sunshine Bay to look for the smugglers’ friends and their boat.

Tim and I go back to Blue Moon Hotel. Constable Carter comes with us. Dad and Mum are in bed. They both come to the front door. We all go into the front room. Constable Carter tells them about the birds and the smugglers. I was right – my parents are very angry. They are happy Tim and I are okay but they are not happy with me.

Mum gets Tim’s mother. She walks in and sees Tim. ‘Tim – why aren’t you in bed?’

Tim doesn’t speak. He doesn’t look at his mother.

My mother says, ‘Constable Carter, this is Mary Bailey, Tim’s mother.’

Constable Carter says, ‘Good evening, Mrs Bailey. I’m Steve Carter. I’m the police officer here in Blue Moon Beach. Your son Tim and his friend Sam are heroes. They helped the police catch two bird smugglers.’

Tim’s mother opens her eyes very wide. ‘What? Bird smugglers? Tim, what’s Constable Carter talking about?’

‘Let’s sit down and listen to the boys’ story,’ says Dad. Mum says, ‘I’ll make some hot chocolate.’

Soon, we’re all drinking hot chocolate.

Constable Carter says, ‘Sam, Tim, tell us more of your story. When did you know about the smugglers?’

I say, ‘I saw those men on the beach this morning. They were looking at the sea eagles, and the nest. And tonight we saw the things in the back of their truck – the boxes and the ropes and the nets. Then I knew.’

‘Why didn’t you go and get Constable Carter?’ asks Dad. ‘Or come back home?’ says Mum.

‘That’s a good question,’ says Mrs Bailey. ‘It is the job of the police to catch smugglers. Tim, I’m very angry. Why did you go out? I told you not to go out at night. Those men…’ She starts to cry. Mum goes to her and holds her hand.

‘Now, Mary. Don’t cry,’ says Mum. ‘Tim is okay. Boys will be boys.’ ‘No,’ says Mrs Bailey. ‘Not my Tim. I need him. It’s just the two of us now.’

My family and Constable Carter do not speak. Tim is quiet for a minute. Then he looks at his mother and says, ‘I’m sorry, Mum. But I’m fifteen. I need to try new things.’

She looks at him. She gives him a small smile. ‘Oh, Tim. Where has my little boy gone? You’re right. But no more catching smugglers. Okay?’

‘Okay, Mum,’ says Tim, with a big smile.

‘I want to hear more about it,’ says Dad. ‘You were very clever to stop the truck.’

‘Tim stopped the truck,’ I say.

‘And we caught them with their own nets!’ says Tim.

Tim and his mother stay with us for two weeks. Tim and I tell our story again to Constable Carter and some other police officers. They did not catch the other bird smugglers in the boat at Sunshine Bay. But Tim and I are just happy the sea eagles are okay.

I show Tim lots of things at Blue Moon Beach. Soon he can name most of the birds and some of the fish. Every day we go to the beach and I teach him to swim. We go out deeper every day.

Some mornings, Mrs Bailey sits on the beach and watches. She smiles a lot more these days. One day Tim says, ‘Come in for a swim, Mum!’ And she does!

Tim teaches me things too. He teaches me about cars. We climb under Dad’s car and Tim shows me the fuel pipe. He shows me how he used the rock on the smugglers’ truck.

Tim and his mother are going home tomorrow. I don’t want them to go. Tim wants to stay too.

Tim and I walk down to the beach and have a swim. Then we go out to the rocks. Tim wants to have one last look at the sea eagles. Tim and I don’t go near the nest these days, but we see the birds flying above us.

One of the birds flies down to the nest. Then we hear a noise coming from the nest. It’s a bird noise, but it’s not like the noise I’ve heard sea eagles make before.

‘What’s making that noise?’ asks Tim. ‘Let’s go and see,’ I say. ‘Come on.’

We go a little closer to the nest, and what do we see? A baby sea eagle!

Only one. Perhaps the other egg got cold.

But this baby sea eagle looks strong and well. Its mother is giving it a small fish to eat.

Tim and I look up. We watch the other sea eagle flying in circles over Blue Moon Beach.

‘In three months the baby will be flying too,’ I say. ‘I’ll come back and see that,’ says my friend Tim.


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