"After that, I had little time for anything but the raft. I raced through whatever chores there were, then ran down to the dock, wondering what animals I'd see that day."
"I watched the doe nuzzle and clean her baby, and I knew what I had to do. I pulled the stub of a crayon from my pocket, and drew the fawn, in all its wildness, onto the old gray boards of the raft. When I had finished, I knew it was just right."
Nicky has to spend the summer with his Grandma and he is not happy about it. His Grandma makes him do chores, and he tries to fish, but doesn't catch anything.
He finds a raft, covered in drawings of animals, and secures it to the dock. He learns that his Grandma spent her summers poling the river on the same raft. The raft attracts many animals. Nicky loves riding around on the raft and sketching the animals.
Nicky spends most of the summer on the raft. On his last day at Grandma's, he helps a fawn up a muddy bank. He draws a picture of the fawn on the raft. He knows he is now a part of the river, forever.