The air was heavy with anticipation of the battle. My old buddy Rich and I were separated from the rest of the squadron, sent on a special mission; and we knew the enemy was close-by. We could feel their presence, but didn’t know where they were hiding. Could they be behind the tall, foreboding trees up ahead? Or would they be entangled amongst the green, gnarly vines, waiting to shoot us if we got close enough?
With a motion of his head and a glance upwards, Rich told me in unspoken words what we needed to do. He noticed a shed close-by with a flat roof. With weapons at the ready, we scanned out the building; there was no way a person could enter it, as it was locked shut. However, the shed would be of good usage to us. With dexterity to which we were trained, we shimmied up a nearby tree. A branch of that tree led to the flat roof of the building. Time was of the essence as we made our way, hand-over-hand, across the branch and onto the shed roof.
Sweat poured from our faces as we positioned ourselves catty-corner on the roof, so that between the two of us, we could see in every direction of the compass. Fear suddenly hit me – what if the enemy saw us and shot first? What if they already knew we were here? If that were the case, we’d be sitting ducks, just waiting to be done in. Deep down I knew I had to trust my brother-in-arms, but another part of me was wishing we’d be back at the foxhole, playing cards and talking about the terrible food.
Suddenly, twigs snapped. Rich and I glanced back at each other in amazement as we watched two members of the opposition, walking as though they weren’t even involved in a battle! I heard them talking about how they were very weary, yet disappointed that they had not had the opportunity to engage in any battle as of that time. The thinner soldier showed his comrade his weaponry, which far exceeded mine. “Please, Lord, give us the victory, and I’ll do everything Your way from this day forward,” I prayed.
I knew that Rich was crawling across to my side of the roof, so I awaited his command. The hairs were sticking up on the back of my neck as I again prayed silently that the enemy wouldn’t see us. Rich and I knew what we had to do: we had to shoot, or be shot, ourselves. Using his fingers, Rich gave me the command to shoot at the count of three. His index finger motioned, “one.” I positioned my weapon. “Two.” The enemy was now in our sites. “THREE!” Rich and I opened fire! The enemy was vanquished!
“YEOW! Rich! Becky! Oh, MAN, they got us!” hollered my other brother, Roger.
“Oh, yuck! I think I got spit on me this time!” added our next-door neighbor, Joey.
Rich and I laughed as we yelled, “We won again!”
“This is NOT FAIR!” grumbled Roger. “I’ve got the better pea-shooter, and SHE’S A GIRL, for corn’s sake!”
“Aw, you’re just poor sports,” responded my brother Rich as he climbed down from the roof. “Come on, guys, it’s time to go – Mom’ll be calling us for supper, soon.”
As Rich helped me get down off of the roof, I was filled with a sense of pride. The battle over, we had conquered the enemy; and I played a vital role in protecting home and hearth. Not a bad day’s battle for the youngest girl of the family!
“Ya wanna do this again tomorrow?” asked Joey, wiping the spittle off of his face.
“Nah, I don’t think so,” I replied, eyeballing the weeping willow tree, already planning out the next day’s summer adventure in my mind. “I think I’ll be Jane and play ‘Tarzan’ tomorrow.”
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