It was a very hot and humid day in the middle of the summer. Slow-Poke was at the wading pool that was at the far edge of the farm he lived on in Calgary, Alberta with his mother. He was enjoying himself. The cool water felt good on his warm feathers.
Slow-Poke and his mother used to live on a farm in Sharbot Lake, Ontario. It was a much smaller farm than the one they currently live on. In Calgary, there were acres and acres of property that Slow-Poke could explore but because he was new to the area, Slow-Poke’s mother didn’t want him going too far away.
In Ontario, Slow-Poke and his mother were used to some pretty nasty summer storms. The storms were pretty intense but they didn’t happen all that often. In Calgary, it would storm pretty much every day. Mother would always warn Slow-Poke about big dark clouds rolling in. She wanted Slow-Poke to come straight into the barn at the first sight of any dark clouds.
Mother knew that Slow-Poke took longer to walk than other ducks because he was slower than most. By starting to come home at the very first sign of a storm, she figured he could make it back to the barn before the storm got really bad.
While swimming in the wading pool, Slow-Poke glanced up at the sky and saw a small black cloud rolling in from the east.
“I think I will wait just a few more minutes,” said Slow-Poke. “I don’t think the storm will hit right away.”
Slow-Poke swam in the wading pool for a few more minutes. He noticed that all of a sudden it got very, very dark outside. It started to rain too.
“Oh oh!” exclaimed Slow-Poke to himself. “I think I was very wrong about the storm. It sure didn’t take long to roll in.”
Slow-Poke started to cry because he knew he was going to be in trouble from his mother for disobeying her orders. With tears streaming down his face, Slow-Poke started to head home in the pouring rain.
“Oh dear,” said Slow-Poke, when he saw a crack of lightning that lit up the whole sky. “I sure hope I don’t get lost.”
The good thing about lightning was that it was so intense that when it hit, it allowed Slow-Poke to see where he was going. A few times, he did get himself turned around and if it weren’t for the lightning, he would have been lost.
“Oh Mother,” cried Slow-Poke, when he finally made it home safely. “I am sorry I disobeyed your orders and did not come home right away when I first noticed the storm approaching. I was having so much fun swimming and I did not want to stop.”
“I am just grateful that you found your way home,” said Mother, giving Slow-Poke a big hug. “I was so worried about you.”
“The lightning helped me find my way home,” said Slow-Poke. “A few times I was heading in the wrong direction but when the lightning struck it lit up the whole sky, allowing me to find my way home.”
“I am so proud of you,” said Mother, happily. “It is good to know that there is a good side to the lightning.”