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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: The Blessing of Brothers
By Karen Petty


Jake kicked the pebbles out of the way as he walked far ahead of his parents on the mountainous path. He would’ve preferred to lag behind, making a point to show his eleven year old disgruntled demeanor. But he had already tried that and was told that he was to be up front so that mom and dad could see him. A vacation at Alton’s Ledge National Park was not his idea of a good time. His best friend Zack was enjoying a sunny Florida beach with his family for spring break. Jake wished that he was with his best friend, instead of being stuck out here in the wilderness with his family.

“Can I go to the campfire?” said Jake, after a meal of grilled chops and corn on the cob. “Sure” replied his mother. “But bring your brother along “. This was not what Jake wanted to hear. It was bad enough to be in Boring’ Ville for a week. But to have to walk past all the kid’s at the Snack Shack with his little brother. Well, Jake thought it was kind of embarrassing.

“Hurry up, Noah” ordered Jake. Noah’s shorter legs were working double-time just to keep up with his older brother’s. But, he didn’t seem to mind. He just smiled and chattered away looking up at Jake as they approached the large campfire. There were split logs arranged all about the glowing flames. A wide screen had been set up in the beautiful wooded landscape near the lodge. “What movie are they showing tonight?” asked Noah. “Ernest Goes To Camp. Now, scoot over and don’t sit so close to me” said Jake in a scolding tone. Noah slid over, but not enough for Jake’s liking. But he didn’t say anything else about it because he knew Noah would probably cry and tell on him.

“Oh, there’s the marshmallows!” Noah almost shouted with excitement. “I can get yours for you, if you want” he added. “Fine” said Jake. “Just try not to touch ‘em too much”. Jake scanned his view for other kids his age. He saw a couple of kids sitting together a few rows back. They were smiling and talking. He figured that was because they weren’t dragged her alone, without a friend. Noah happily bumbled back from the Snack Shack with his tee shirt filled with puffy marshmallows, graham crackers, and miniature sized chocolate bars. “Aw, Noah, I said not to touch them” said Jake. “I didn’t. That’s why I folded them up in my shirt. AND, they lady gave me extra when I told her that I was getting some for my big brother too! That was nice, huh”? Noah questioned, oblivious to Jake’s disapproval.

As the evening went on, the movie played. Giggles spurted out unexpectedly from all directions as the silly scenes covered the large screen. Once, Jake laughed so hard that he accidentally fell off the log and onto the dirt below. That made Noah laugh too. Jake was so busy having fun that he forgot to reprimand his brother for having fun too.

The movie went on and Jake looked over at his smiling younger sibling as he watched the show. Jake felt an unexpected feeling inside. They were having a good time together, he admitted silently. Maybe he wasn’t so alone after all, this week. Surprised at his discovery, he scooted just a bit closer to Noah.

The boys walked the lighted path past the tents. As they approached the cabins, Noah said “Thanks for letting me come with you tonight”. “That’s ok” said Jake. “I’m glad you’re my brother” gleamed the smaller child. “Me too” said Jake. He reached over and took the sticky fingered hand of his younger brother, as they walked back to their cabin, under the starry night sky.

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This article has been read 442 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carolyn Baney09/13/07
This is a sweet story. Thanks!

If you space your quotes, each person getting his own line, it would be easier to read.
Julie Arduini09/14/07
This was nice pacing as the attitude change with the brother was very natural and well done.
Jan Ackerson 09/16/07
Sweet story--good for a Sunday School class of upper elementary or young teen students. I like the sticky fingers at the end. Nice touch.
Joanne Sher 09/21/07
Congratulations Karen. Your entry has placed 10th in Level 1. With all the Level 1 entries, that is really quite an accomplishment. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.