Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)
TITLE: One Trail Adventure
By Emily Blakely
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A flutter of wings startled the twosome as quail were flushed and left them with hearts in their throats. Ben’s reaction was immediate–run for safety behind his sister, but she looked at him through her hazel eyes, shaking her head. He understood, “All was okay” and they continued on this day’s adventure.
Reaching a favorite spot to rest beside a pool of spring water, Benjamin and Rosie watched as water skippers glided across the surface, tickling their imaginations. Their motion was mesmerizing; before long, brother and sister fell off to sleep.
Her brother’s snoring woke Rosie and put her in the mood to startle him awake too. But she allowed him to sleep. It was her duty to protect her little brother from danger. They’d seen signs along the trail of big animal droppings and claw scratches high up on trees.
Awake, both took a refreshing drink from the pool, then continued on. Energized, Rosie raced ahead as they played, chasing butterflies. Slender and lithe, she had the form of a born runner, with Benjamin pushing himself to match her speed.
As Ben labored to keep up with his sister’s graceful stride, he was about to call if quits when Rosie suddenly stopped. Ben saw his chance and was about to race passed her when he saw it too–a cougar lying in the trail, facing away from them. A fallen deer lay dead, the cougar’s meal.
Both, trying to hold their breath, hoped the pounding in their chests would not give them away. All eyes on the big cat, they turned and slowly, silently started back down the trail. Home. Home seemed so far away right now. They spent more time looking over their shoulders than at the trail ahead. Making no sound, neither remembered how far they traveled before one started running.
Home. Will they get there? Passed the pool, through the trails they knew by heart, not noticing the lovely canopy of trees with their cool shade. Faster. Home. Could they make it? With each footfall they thought they heard another behind them. Faster. Neither felt the ground under them as they flew to the safety of home. Ben had no trouble keeping up with his sister now.
Breathless, they reached the safety of the front porch just as the door opened. “Here you pups are, time to eat!” their master exclaimed.
Never again would they leave home without him. Never.
But tomorrow is another day. And another trail.
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