I always wanted to write something about New Brunswick actually. She's one of my favourite IAM characters, and I've always believed she was quite badass.
Anyways, I actually wrote the following story when I was in grade six. It was a tall tale about a shipbuilder named Ann, but it fitted perfectly. I just changed the names and corrected the grammar. The language is pretty simple, because I did write it in grade six. It's something that you have to read slowly to really enjoy.
It all started in a little town named Fredericton. There in a cottage on the very edge of a river, Marie was born.
Marie was incredible, even as a baby. On the day she was born, she cried so loudly that she startled the sun, which bumped into the clouds and made a double rainbow right across the sky.
When she was only a day old, folks from all over the town came to see her. Right then, with her big blue eyes open wide, she leapt from her mother’s arms and started to run around the bed, yelling, “Food! Food!”
All the good citizens of Fredericton were shocked, but they helped to carry: a stuffed turkey, a huge stack of pancakes with five whole bottles of syrup, ten cans of baked beans, three extra large loaves of wheat bread, a fairly big chunk of butter, a giant chocolate cake, and four gallons of milk to Marie’s room, upon which she wolfed down in ten minute. All the town’s folks were stunned that such a sweet looking baby could eat so much.
In a flash, Marie was already five months old. Her parents had travelled to the big cities to buy some supplies. They left her with her nanny, who was snoring downstairs like a jackhammer.
Marie saw her chance to have some fun. She climbed out of her crib; cart wheeled down the hall and attacked her parent’s room by bouncing on the bed. Marie bounced so hard that she launched through the roof of her house and up into the sky. While sailing through the air, Marie saw a group of men making sail boats by the St. John’s River. There and then, falling back to her house, she decided to be a boat maker when she grows up.
When Marie’s parents returned home, they were both surprised and furious. Surprised because they didn’t know babies were supposed to cart wheel or make holes in roofs. Furious because they had to repair the roof and fire the nanny.
“I want to be a boat maker when I grow up!” Marie told her parents in a conclusive kind of way.
"WHAT?” Her mother shouted, “You can’t! You’ll have to run the maple company when you grow up!”
Marie’s parents ran the huge McCain’s Maple Syrup Company.
“Oh, just let her be,” Marie’s father said, “I used to be a pretty good ship builder myself when I was a lad, perhaps I can teach you a thing or two.”
At two years of age, Marie already had a special bond with animals. She understood them and they understood her. She was gentle and believed that there was a good in everyone.
At four, Marie could cook mountains of yummy food and her mother’s specialty, “a ten layers super-duper-one-of-a-kind-apple-of-my-eye maple syrup cake with butterscotch ripples”. It could give anyone toothaches just thinking about it.
At six, Marie made her own axe and carried it over her shoulder everywhere.
At eight, Marie could run so fast that the wind couldn’t even keep up with her.
At ten, Marie learnt how to build a fishing boat better that any fishermen in the world.
At twelve, Marie was so strong that she could juggle four pigs and a cow at the same time.
At fourteen, Marie could make her own sailboat so fast that she couldn’t even see her own fingers.
At sixteen, Marie set out to seek her fortune.
Marie moved closer to the coast of the Bay of Fundy by surfing down St. John’s River on a plank of wood. There she started her own sailboat company called…The MacCain Sailboat co.
Marie gathered the best and fastest boat makers and sailors there ever was, like Bob Biggs (that was his nickname), who came all the way from Saskatchewan, and Ferry Jacques, whose real name was Jean Tremblay or something. She also gathered cooks and hunters and an accountant from Ontario, and also a handsome fiddler named Joel who fiddled while they worked.
Together with her talented crew, Marie chopped down trees-of course, she was always careful not to cut the ones with nests in them, and for every tree she cut down, she planted ten-and made various kinds of boats. Big ones, small ones, fast ones, flat ones, tall ones, some designed to carry weight, some used for transporting livestock, and Marie even made boats designed for animals to operate!
Business was good and money was flooding in, but kind Marie just smiled and gave away most of it to her crew, the poor or animal shelters.
All was good until the motor company came to the Bay of Fundy.
They sold horrible misshapen ships that spat out nasty clouds of black smoke as it zoomed noisily along the calm blue sea. And the smell was so bad, it could blow George Washington into new Texas. It was no faster than a powerful sailboat on a good windy day. Fishes would go bellies-up just at the sight of the horrible motorboat.
Marie decided to take things into her own hands. She wanted to revenge from the motor company for disturbing the peace of the Bay.
So on a sunny day, when the owner of the motor company was showing off his product (and not noticing that nobody was watching) Marie roared, “Hey there, you! Come over here!”
Normally one won’t be able to hear himself over the racket the boat made, but Marie could make her voice so loud that it would shake the leaves off a tree.
The motor company’s owner pulled his boat over to Marie. Marie saw that he looked sour and very much like a displeased elephant.
“Look!” Marie said, “Your Company is disturbing the people and the animals of this town, you ought to leave at once!”
Of course, the motor company’s owner was rather unpleasant and disagreed.
“Then lets make a deal,” Marie said, “We’ll have a race, your motorboat against my sailboat, if you win, my company will move out, but if I win, your motorboats will stay away from the Bay of Fundy.”
The unpleasant man nodded then and they arranged to have a race from the midpoint of St. John’s River into the Bay of Fundy. Whoever reached the Bay first wins.
“Are you sure you want to race my motorboat?” Asked Mr. Sluggysnail (the unpleasant man’s name), “They are five times faster than normal sailboats!”
“My boats are not normal sailboats.” Declared Marie and she walked away.
Marie and her crew designed a ship that was sailed faster that rain could fall, and so big and sleek, it puts the finest battleships to shame. The mast was several kilometres wide and it could catch ever little bit of wind and use it for speed. The deck was waterproof and could survive the worst of storms.
The day of the race finally came. People lined the banks of St. John’s River to cheer Marie on.
Marrie and her crew were on their ship, the Bluebird. Mr. Sluggysnail was on his fastest motorboat, the Sea Serpent.
The starter gave a long blow on his horn. The race had begun!
The Sea Serpent pulled steadily ahead, leaving a trail of black smoke and noise behind. The Bluebird had no choice but to be left back because there was no wind that particular day.
Oh, please let the wind pick up! Please! Marie thought desperately, I can’t disappoint all the animals and the people who are counting on me.
The rest of the crew ran worriedly from place to place and tapped their foot. Joel fiddled the hardest he’s ever fiddled, but there was still no wind.
By now, the Sea Serpent was way ahead.
Then, Marie had a plan. It had to work. She made one of her ten layered super-duper-one-of-a-kind-apple-of-my-eye maple syrup cake with butter scotch ripples, only this time, she mixed in ten pounds of sugar.
Marie gave the cake to Bob Biggs, who was the largest guy around. He was so big he could step right across Lake Winnipeg. When he ate all that sugar and maple syrup, he became hyperactive. He sucked in his breath and blew at the sails. He blew so hard that the sails nearly ripped in half, but Marie’s ships always lasts.
With a burst of speed, the Bluebird sailed straight down the River and past the Sea Serpent, nearly dunking it. With a victorious shout, they pulled into the Bay of Fundy and sailed a few more miles into the ocean before stopping.
The motor company packed up the next day. They left and didn’t return, for a long time.
Everyone celebrated Marie’s victory, but her ship was lost in the ocean forever. It was the most well told story for a longest time, until nobody believed it anymore. But the Bluebird is still wandering around somewhere. You never know.
If you go to the Bay of Fundy on a beautiful day and stand really, really still, sometimes you can hear the muted cheer of a crew dancing to the whisper of a fiddle. And if you look up, you may catch a glimpse of a beautiful ship sailing forever in the clouds. A pretty girl standing at its head, with an axe slung over her shoulder.