The Waterbabies: Chapter 8.
Poor little fellow, it was a dreary journey for him; and more than once he longed to be back upstream, playing with the trout in the bright summer sun. But it could not be.
What has been once can never come over again. But Tom was a brave, determined little boy, who never knew when he was beaten; and on and on he held, till he saw a long way off a red buoy through the fog.
And then he found to his surprise, the stream, turned round and round, and running up inland. It was the tide of course: but Tom knew nothing of the tide. He only knew that in a minute more the water, which had been fresh turned salt all around him.
And there came a change over him. He felt strong and light and fresh; and gave he did not know why three skips out of the water, a yard high, and head over heals just as the salmon do when they first touch the noble rich salt water.
He did not care now for the tide being against him. The red buoy was in sight, dancing in the open sea; and to the buoy he went. Tom passed great shoals of bass and mullet leaping and rushing in after the shrimp, but he never heeded them, or they him and he passed a great black shining seal, who was coming in after the mullet.
Finally Tom climbed onto the buoy and sat there looking around him. The sea breeze came in freshly with the tide and blew the fog away; and the little waves danced for joy around the buoy and the buoy danced with them.
The gulls laughed, and the sea - pies with their red bills and legs, flew to and fro from the shore, and whistled sweet and wild. And Tom looked - and looked - and listened.