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(Keep in mind these parts are rough drafts)

I remember that my dad once told me something, and so far, it has proven time and time again, to be one of the wisest things he has ever said. He said ” The best things in life require a little patience, son. All good things come with time.” Now I don’t know about you, but for me, this was certainly not an easy concept for me grasp or use in my life. I mean, come on now, I am only 12 and do you really expect a 12 year old to have patience? That is like expecting to wake up and find a money tree, had been planted in your backyard, overnight. But I did find that every time I was patient, I was rewarded. I am not exactly certain how that works; maybe it’s some kind of magic I just don’t get, but it does work. You’ll just have to trust me on that one.

The reason I mention this at all is because I realize my story might not have been, the most exciting thing ever written, so far. But I wanted to tell you everything. I wanted you to know exactly how I got to where I am now. Frankly, I am not sure it would be fair of me to do otherwise. So I am asking you, my reader, to have a little patience with me. Heck, if I can sit down and write this, you should be able to sit down and read it. With that being said, I’ll continue typing and trust, that each of you has more patience, than a 12 year old.

The day after my little adventure upstream, I told Janie about, what I had done and what I’d seen. When I told her about the thorns, at first she giggled at my stupidity (and I don’t blame her) but after I showed her my bandaged legs her mood quickly changed to apologetic and sympathetic. When I got to the snake part she made all those girly sounds and faces of disgust you would expect and I, like most boys, found very satisfying to see. When I finally got to the waterfall part she had this rather peculiar look about her. The look of wonderment mixed with disbelief. It took quite a bit of convincing on my part but, I think she finally believed that I thought, I saw a waterfall. In the end, it was agreed that as soon as Charlie and Stan were healthy, we should all take a walk up there to look. While I did not really care for the idea of waiting, I did make use of the time by planning to be better equipped next time. For that next trip up there, I decided to take along all of the same things I took last time, and some additional items. Those included wearing jeans, a real machete, a lantern, Bowie knife, rope, cell phone, binoculars, larger tent, 3 more sleeping bags, more food and water. After the unexpected events of the first trip, I seriously considered packing a kitchen sink.

Finally, after two weeks (that is a long time to a 12 year old), we were ready to make that trip upstream. Both Charlie and Stan were a bit more skeptical about what I’d told them, but being boys, were much more enthusiastic about the idea of adventure than Janie was.

Approx. 9am, on a Saturday morning, we all met up at the creek. When I arrived, Stan was the only one there. I knew, if there was anyone likely to show up early, it was going to him. Stan was the most nerdy one of our bunch. He was one of those brainy kids who seemed to always know the answer, to every question, no matter how bizarre the question was. He was also one of those types of people who was a stickler for precision. He always wanted to do everything, not just right, but perfectly. You know the type I am talking about. I believe the term most people use is “anal”. Janie arrived next. I suppose she was just like any 12 year old girl you might imagine. Cheerful, sometimes to the point of perky and annoying, easy-going yet sometimes moody, warm sometimes to the point of too much touchy-feely, and impatient when made to wait. Charlie arrived last, meandering in, like he was in no big hurry. Charlie was one of those guys who thought appearances mattered more than they really did. He considered himself to be “cool” and thus, did everything he did, with that frame of mind. What he did not get was, that cool, was not always cool. Charlie had not come alone as we expected. He’d brought with him a friend.

Charlie greeted us with handshakes and knuckle bumps and then introduced his friend.

” Hey guys, this is Larry.” Charlie said and continued,  “Larry, this is Stan.”(They shook hands) ” This pretty lady is Janie.” (Janie gave him a brief hug which he looked a little uncomfortable with) ” And finally, this is our fearless leader, William ‘ the Spear ‘ Shakes.” I shook his hand, while noticing the look on his face, I stated ” My parents are huge Shakespeare fans and thought naming me William would be great thing to do.” He nodded as if he seemed to get this but did not say anything. With introductions out of the way, we set out for the long walk ahead. I would bet anyone, that nobody expected us to find, what we did. I’d also be willing to wager, that quite a few of us now, wish we hadn’t found anything. Most certainly, both of those would be “sure thing” bets.

to be continued…

© 2011- J.B. Thomas

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