by L. H. Hall
the next morning to find the others still in dreamland. Get even
time. I looked at Sarah, sleeping on her side, facing the rest
of us. No. That would be dirty to take unfair advantage of her
when she is sleeping, but I was asleep, or the same as. Yeah. It's
get even time. I found a thin limber stick, and began tickling
her ear with it. She shooed me off a couple of times. I ran the
stick down her back. That got her to turn over. I quietly moved to
her head and began to tickle her forehead, eyes and nose. When she
awakened and realized that I was the pesky fly, she spun like a top
on her back and tried to kick me in the face. I grabbed her foot
and started tickling. Her other foot connected, and I lost my
grasp, but I was too quick for her that time. In a second she was
on her stomach, and I was sitting on her, so she could not get up.
"I told you pay backs are fun."
Please stop! I'll pee my pants if you don't."
care. Your the one who has to wear them."
Debbie, Julie, somebody help me. He's making me pee my pants. I'll
get the bed all wet."
her off the bed, so she would not get it wet. By then I had three
others tickling me, trying to pull me away from her. In the process
I lost my grip on Sarah, and she got away.
the one who's in trouble." She came at me from the back. "Hold him
ain't fair! Four on one is cheating! You better let me up! You'll
all be sorry! I'll get you one at a time, when you're not expecting
it! Get off everybody! This is between me and Sarah!" I laughed,
giggled, kicked and screamed. I did everything I could to get away,
but they hung on.
"Do you give
I had taken care of the morning necessities before I started
pestering Sarah, but I was in tears, "No! No! No! How come you
guys always take her side? She started it."
"I did not.
sorry next time. I'll get you when they're not around, an' I'll get
them when you're not around. Hey, you kids, remember; I'm the
daddy. You're s'posed to do what I say." More giggling, kicking
time," Sarah squealed. I'm the momma, and I'm telling you to hang
on to him.
you if you don't let go," I giggled. I was getting frantic.
whip you if you do." Sarah found a new place to tickle.
fair." Debbie sounded worried. "No matter what we do we get a
gonna whip us, silly," Julie giggled. "They're just teasing."
bet?" I squealed. "Wait and see. If I don't getcha. I'll tickle
you until you cry."
either," Sarah laughed, "or we'll gang up on you again. Won't we
I began to
relax. I had been held down and tickled until it did not tickle any
more. "Go ahead. Tickle me. It doesn't tickle any more."
"Do you give
up?" Sarah asked.
"No! No! A
thousand times, No! You can tickle me all day if you want to. It
doesn't bother me."
for a few more seconds, but when they saw they could not get another
rise out of me, they soon stopped. "I'll get everyone of you for
that; just wait and see. I'll get you alone someday. Then look
fair." Jamie tried to wipe some of the dirt off. "You're bigger'n
suppose what you just did was fair."
only way we can get you," Julie claimed.
looks like the only way I can get even is to get you alone. I'm
gonna tickle you 'til you don't tickle any more; just like you did
"Huh uh! I
ain't never gonna be alone with you again!" Julie tried to cover
her sides with her hands.
neither!" The others agreed.
Sarah changed the subject.
"Let me fill
my canteen first." I ran to the little pool. "I don't want to
drink your dirty pee-bath water."
better fill all the canteens first." Sarah grabbed hers.
breakfast of about half enough jerky because Sarah said we had to
save the rest for lunch, we headed west again following Sheba. I
wanted to go down the hill to walk along the beach, but Sheba would
not think of it. I assumed she had a reason, so we followed her.
We could not have traveled more than a half hour before we came out
from under the canopy into an area of light underbrush. Suddenly,
we were shocked by a rabbit darting away almost from under our feet.
Sheba barked, just once, and Bruno and Cuddles had the meat before
it was out of our sight. They stopped and looked at their mother,
who growled softly. Bruno brought the kill to me. All the pups
then started seeking their own food, and disappeared. As we
continued, we realized that things started to look mildly familiar.
We had almost passed it, before Julie ran to pick some ripe
oranges. "Hey! This is the orange grove."
Next time we
come home, we'll get some lemons, too," Sarah picked some oranges.
"Some cold lemonade would sure taste good right now."
early," My mouth watered at the thought of cold lemonade. "Maybe
Jamie and I can go boil some sugarcane."
We Don't! I ain't goin' nowhere with you!"
"I think we
can wait until next week; then we can all go." Sarah remembered my
threat. "There's safety in numbers."
I think Jamie and I can do it alone." I had not thought of revenge,
but it was a good idea.
hardly! I'm the momma, and I gotta protect my kids."
right. You'll forget, and I won't. I'll just wait."
never, never gonna forget!" Jamie exclaimed.
neither!" Debbie and Julie agreed.
We were a
day earlier than we had planned getting back to the cave. I told
them they could still have the full week away from their studies.
In return they agreed to have school at the cove when we went to
boil sugarcane and salt. In a way it was really stupid to go all
the way to the cove to boil salt, when we could do it on our own
beach. We could start a fire, fill the big pot with water, and let
it boil; but somebody would have to run down, tend the fire and fill
the pot three or four times a day. It was a thirty minute trip to
the beach and back, and wood for the fire was easier to get at the
cove. We would do it down there while we made syrup. With the
dolphins, the cove was a fun place to be.
were glad to see us. They began bleating as soon as they heard us
come in. Even stinker nuzzled me but she still would not let me
touch her behind her head. I could have grabbed her horn--one had
been broken off--but goats do not like to have their horns grabbed.
Sarah came to milk her, and I milked the others, and played with the
kids for a while.
early lunch, our first hot meal in over twenty-four hours, Sarah
jumped off the cliff. "The last one in is an old wet hen," She was
in the air, before the words were out of her mouth. We all
followed. Jamie was the farthest from the edge, so he was the old
wet hen, a first for him.
Sarah was choking and sputtering. "That's a long way down. I
thought I would be old and gray before I hit the water. When I did,
I was trying to get my breath and almost choked to death."
I did not
know which part she was agreeing to, but, I guess she did. Probably
about the long way down. "Well? Was it fun? Are you gonna do it
again?" I swam to the shallows, laughing.
"Yes, it was
fun. Yes, I'm gonna do it again. No, I'm not gonna to try to take
a breath when I enter the water." Sarah headed for the bank to do
Debbie was closer to the bank. "Betcha I beatcha."
fast, but Debbie had too much of a head start, and sailed into the
air just a stride in front of her. They were in the air at the same
time. Sarah's feet were about even with Debbie's head when Debbie's
feet hit the water. The puppies joined us as usual. We had a big
time, and swam the afternoon away.
anticipating our needs, Sheba brought us a half grown goat. We
spent the next two days making jerky. I reminded her that Sunday
was a day off; that we were not supposed to work on the Lord's day,
but she did not seem to understand. She knew that we needed jerky.
That's all she cared about.
meat was not so much of a job anymore. The pups kept the birds
away, and Sheba made sure the temptation was not too great for the
pups. She came down off her perch on the ledge a couple of times to
punish one of the pups for getting his nose too close to the drying
meat. We could go into the cave for a half hour at a time and not a
piece of meat would be touched. Mr. Wilcox had taught Sheba well,
and she was teaching her pups well.
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.