Read by Anita Rodgers
“Jack, Jack!” echoed down the staircase.
“Daisy, where are you?” Jack called as he climbed up the stairs.
Now, even louder, “Jack, Jack!” squawked Daisy.
Jack reached the top floor and saw Daisy staring out at the Sugar Sea. “Daisy, you crazy parrot, why are you squawking?” asked Jack. The old man looked out at the water and sky. Daisy just flapped her wings. They had been together long enough for Jack to know exactly what she meant.
It was just another mild winter day to the people living in the village of Red Haven. The bay waters were quiet and the sky was clear. The peaceful afternoon was shattered by the sound of the loud alarm.
OOO-WA! OOO-WA! OOO-WA!
Everyone stopped. They looked at the sea and sky. No one could see a storm forming, but they trusted Jack. The people sprung into action. Breakers Island was no stranger to storms, but none were as deadly as the winter storms.
Mrs. Baker was shopping at Sue’s Supply Store. She and Sue heard the alarm and exchanged a worried look. Sue said, “We may not have much time. You had better get home fast.”
After a quick good-bye, Mrs. Baker headed for the door. Sue turned the “Open” sign over to read “Closed” as Mrs. Baker left the store.
The people rushed to get ready for the storm. Jack and Daisy continued to man their posts at the top of the lighthouse. No one could remember when Jack came to Breakers Island. He came with only the clothes on his back and Daisy. They made their home at the lighthouse.
Jack was a mystery. Some thought he was a pirate in search of buried treasure. Others said he had grown old working on cargo boats. Now he was just too old to live that hard life of labor on the sea. Jack looked tough, but his eyes showed kindness and good humor.
The children always found candy in his coat pockets and loved to talk with Daisy. Daisy soaked up their attention.
“Jack, Jack!” warned Daisy.
Jack said, “Yes, Daisy, I feel it in my bones. It’s coming.” He saw dark clouds forming. The sky was turning as black as night.
The fishermen and dock workers rushed to tie down their boats. The windows on the homes and stores were shuttered.
The farmers gathered all the animals in the barn and braced the door. The wind gusts were getting stronger.
The beacon from the lighthouse had guided many boats through storms to safety in Breakers Island Bay. Over the years, Jack had become a reluctant hero.
Sailors would seek him out to shake his hand and thank him for guiding their boats to safety. They called him the Guardian of the Sugar Sea.
The lighthouse shone brighter as the sky darkened. The waves crashed up on the beach and docks. Boats bobbed up and down in the rough water. Anything not tied down was blown away in the strong winds.
Boom, Boom, Boom!
Thunder pealed as lightning streaked and lit the sky. Strong winds tore at Breakers Island. Large trees swayed back and forth. Smaller limbs came crashing down.
“Jack, Jack!” squawked Daisy.
Jack asked, “You see a boat? Where’s the boat?” Then he saw a fishing boat caught in the storm. The fishermen were trying to make their way toward the lighthouse.
Jack said under his breath, “Come on. You can make it!” Then he lost sight of the boat in the huge waves.
“Jack, Jack!” squawked Daisy.
“I know, Daisy. I don’t see it either,” said Jack as he strained his eyes to see through the darkness. At last, he caught sight of the boat as it plowed through the waves and into the bay, just missing the jagged rocks.
The storm wailed through the night. By dawn, it had passed over Breakers Island.
In the morning light, the people could see the damage the storm had caused. As they had always done in the past, the group began to clean up.
It was early when Jack heard a knock on the lighthouse door. He opened it to find several sailors. One said, “We are here to thank ‘The Guardian.’”
The sailors called Jack the Guardian of the Sugar Sea.