She’d never really liked fish. She didn’t really know why, but there was just something about their cold slimy bodies, bulging fleshy mouths and goggle-eyed expressions that put her off. Or, she thought, perhaps it was the smell. There was no other smell like it; an overpowering stench that forced itself up her nostrils and wreaked havoc with her sense, usually resulting in a lot of eye-watering and hissing on her part. Thankfully, there were no fish in the river today – they had long since swum upstream to breed in the warmer lagoons, doubtless falling prey to all the predators that lurked on the river’s shores.
She yawned widely and wiggled her toes, the five tiny digits gleaming ghostly white under the thin veil of water. She reached down with her left foot and picked up a pebble from the river bottom, purring delightedly as the soft sand tickled her feet. She passed the pebble up and held it in the palm of her hand, admiring the pale blue-grey surface and running her fingers over the tiny grooves carved out by generations of tiny scuttling creatures. It was cold to touch, but there was something soothing in the round perfection of the stone, a sort of earthy solidity that sent gentle pulses up her arms. She gave the stone a tentative lick, her tongue picking up the taste of salt and grit. River smells, she thought, as she passed the pebble back into the grip of her dextrous toes and lowering it back under the rippling surface of the river.
She sat there for a while longer, enjoying the gentle tug of the water against her feet and the soft whisperings of the breeze as it brushed feather-light against her body. Eventually she stretched and got to her feet, tiny rainbows gleaming on her legs as the water droplets on her skin caught the last light of the sunset. She gave a little sigh, took one last look at the river, turned and strode away, feet barely skimming the grass as she gradually faded from sight, leaving nothing behind but a small mark in the grass and the pebble lying on the riverbed.