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Growing up in a picturesque Newfoundland fishing village should be idyllic for sixteen-year-old Kit Ryan, but living with an alcoholic father makes Kit's day-to-day life unpredictable and almost intolerable. When the 1992 cod moratorium forces her father out of a job, the tension between Kit and her father grows. Forced to leave their rural community, the family moves to the city, where they live with Uncle Iggy, a widower with problems of his own. Immediately pegged as a "baygirl," Kit struggles to fit in, but longstanding trust issues threaten to hold her back when a boy named Elliot expresses an interest in her.
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BàygîRl Heather Smith BàygîRl
BàygîRl Heather Smith
Text copyright ©2013Heather Smith All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Smith, Heather,1968Baygirl [electronic resource] / Heather Smith.
Electronic monograph. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781459802759 (pdf).isbn 9781459802766(epub)
I. Title. ps8637.m5623b39 2013jc813’.6 c20139018832
First published in the United States,2013Library of Congress Control Number:2013935299
Summary: When Kit’s alcoholic fisherman father loses his job, the family is forced to leave the Newfoundland outport they call home.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Teresa Bubela Cover images by Getty Images and Steve Feltham Author photo by Robin Smith
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria,bc Canadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer,wa usa 982400468
To Duncan, Rosie and April And, always, to Rob
onE Tickle Cove Pond
As soon as I opened e door, I coud sme î. I ooked a my wac. I was ony ree weny în e aternoon.Bu îme o day never made any dîference o îm. He ad a wîskey wî îs bacon and eggs once. He drank î ou o a cofee mug, as î a made î okay. I rew my backpack on e kîcen loor and pu e kee on. “How was scoo oday, my marveous dauger?” “Fîne.” “Wa dîd you do?” “We aked abouhe Old Man and he Sea.” “A, Hemîngway.” Soundîng surprîsed mîg se îm of, so I kep my voîce la. “You’ve read î?”
H e a T H e r s m I T H
He eaned back în îs caîr and rubbed îs cîn.“I ceraîny ave, Kîy, I ceraîny ave. Wonderu book, marveous, jus marveous.” He ooked rîdîcuous, ryîng o ac îneîgen. “So wa dîd you înk o î?” e asked, pourîng îmse anoer drînk. I rew a eabag în a mug and snored. “I oug, CatcH tHe marlin, old man, and put me out of my misery.My aer’s jaw ardened. “You înk î’s a easy,do you? Fîsîn’? You înk you jus go ou on a boa, cac a ew is and come ome agaîn?” For a second I oug abou wakîng away, bu e îdea evaporaed as quîcky as e wîsps o seam rîsîng rom e kee. I eaned agaîns e couner and oded my arms.“I never saîd î was easy.” “Sounds o me îke you dîd. Sounds o me îke you înk î’s e easîes job în e word.” “A I’m sayîng îs a î ook e od man a ong îme o cac one measy is.” Dad rîed o sand up bu coudn’ quîe ge îs baance. He gave up, wavîng a inger or empasîs însead. “Measy is?” e yeed. “Measy is?” he rumbîngs însîde e kee grew ouder.
b a y g i r l
“Lemme e you someîng, my ady, I’ve ad my own srugges wî e ocean and îs creaures and I can reay undersand a Sanîago ea.” Eye conac mîg gîve e împressîon I was îner-esed, so I ooked away. I sared a e supîdes cock ever învened, a monsrosîy my aer ad won a dars weny years ago. Tere were boes o beer were e numbers soud be, and my aer never îred o announcîng î was “beer o’cock” wenever anyone asked e îme. “Are you îsenîn’ o me, Kîy?” he wîse rom e kee was pîercîng, an îrrîaîng soundrack o an îrrîaîng dîscussîon. “Sorry, I was jus admîrîng e cock.” “Don’ be smar wî me, young ady.” “Okay, I’ be dumb wî you. ha way we’ be on e same îneecua eve.” My aer sammed îs is down on e abe. “Wy can’ we ever ave a norma conversaîon?” Repîes looded my braîn.Because you’re not a normal person. Because you’re always drunk. Because you’re an idiot.Bu I knew beer an o say any o em ou oud, so I jus srugged. He poured îmse anoer drînk. “Wa? No smar comebacks?”
H e a T H e r s m I T H
I ooked a îs boodso eyes, îs lused ceeks,e broken veîns on îs nose. “Nope.” Wen my aer spoke agaîn, îs voîce was barey audîbe over e sound o e screecîng kee. “I înk you owe me an apoogy.” I swîced e sove of. “For wa?” He dîdn’ answer rîg away. He jus sared îno îs so gass. “Cue e dramaîc pause,” I muered. My aer ooked ur. Genuîney. I preended no o noîce. “Everyîng I do, Kîy, îs or you. Everyîng. And you jus row î back în my ace. Every îme.” I was a cassîc move, e “poor me” ac. I’d seen î a ousand îmes, and I wasn’ aîng or î. “We? Wa do you ave o say or yourse, young ady?” I dîdn’ boer pourîng e boîed waer îno my mug. I woudn’ be ere o drînk î. “I’m sorry,” I saîd. He wen rom sad o smug în an însan. “Sorry a you’re suc a rîggîn’ oser.” he ook on îs ace was prîceess. I was ou e door beore e’d wobbed îs way o sandîng. And, as aways, I ran o Nan’s.
b a y g i r l
my grandmother livede road rom us în a îe bue up ouse se îg on a î. I coudn’ e you muc abouer bedroom. Or er îvîng room. Or any oer par o er ouse, or a maer. Bu I knew every înc o er kîcen. he yeow was, e od-asîoned sove în e corner, e rocker by e wîndow and e ancîen ransîsor radîo on e wîndowsî a was rarey urned of. Nan’s kîcen overooked e woe o Parsons Bay. From er rocker I coud see e curc, e scoo and e cooru wooden omes o our neîgbors and rîends. he îne, lanked by seep, rugged cîfs, was e oca poîn. I was a busy spo were isîng boas puered în and ou and od men ong reîred rom e rade gaered o e a aes abou eîr days ou a sea. he is pan sa no ar rom e warves, were isîng nes ay dryîng and oca boas were docked. Tanged cumps o brîg-orange buoys îered e ground, waîîng or eîr cance o bob abou în e Aanîc Ocean, wîc, rom Nan’s wîndow, ooked endess. I was ive wen I irs escaped o Nan’s. Dad ad been în îs smey od recîner a reeked o acoo, wacînghe Price is RigHt.I was sîîng on e loor în e kîcen, payîng wî pos and pans and preendîng o cook îke our neîgbor, Ms. Bare, wo aways ad someîng îneresîng în er oven. Takîng înspîraîon rom er exoîc recîpes, I sook îmagînary spîces îno my po.
H e a T H e r s m I T H
“A das o curry powder,” I sang. “A pînc o enne.” My moer, wo was scrubbîng e kîcen couners, sook er ead and auged. “hîs îs Parsons Bay, Kî. No Bombay.” A new word. Bombay. I îked î. “Bombay!” I saîd. “Bombay! Bombay! Bombay!” “For God’s sake!” Dad yeed. “Ge a cîd o su er rap. I can’ ear e Sowcase Sowdown.” “Sowcase Sowdown!” I saîd. “Sowcase Sowdown! Sowcase Sowdown!” My moer pu a rubber-goved înger o er îps and wîspered, “Lîke îs, Kî. Sowcase Sowdown.” I rîed î. “Good gîr,” se saîd. “Now ge back o your cookîng. Quîey îs îme.” I lîpped a pasîc egg îmer over and sîrred. “Wan a ase?” I asked wen e as graîn o sand ad aen roug e ourgass. Mom ben over and surped rom e wooden spoon I ed o er îps. “Mmmmm. Deîcîous!” “Pay wî me,” I saîd. My moer ooked a e parîay scrubbed couners. “I’m kînd o busy…”