Five Alive

Making Plans

Chapter 20

by L. H. Hall

Five Alive
Chapter 20

Making Plans

Once we discovered the bats, it became part of our evening ritual to sit or lie on the patio and watch the bats come out. Then we would watch the stars twinkle on, one by one, and just visit and enjoy each other's company until we got sleepy.

Saturday evening was no exception. The fire was burning in the cave, but it seemed farther away than the Southern Cross shining down on us. It was such a beautiful night. An evening rain had cleansed and cooled the air an hour or so before sunset, and a soft breeze blew from the East. We had discussed a wide variety of subjects, from the puppies and goats to spiritual things, but for a half hour we had been silent, each with his/her own secret thoughts, listening to the night sounds of a tropical isle.

"I just can't make up my mind." Jamie interrupted the silence.

"What about?" I came out of my euphoria.

"My Birthday."

"Oh, that again." There had to have been disgust in my voice. I could not imagine breaking such a wonderful mood with a problem that would not exist for another five days. It was important to Jamie. He had been talking about it ever since Julie's birthday.

"We're gonna explore. That's certain. Ain't nothin' better'n explorin', 'cept jumpin' off the patio into the lake, and that gets borin'. Explorin' never gets borin'. There's always something new."

"I guess we all like to explore," Sarah contended. "So, what's the problem?"

"I can't decide what to explore. The east coast looked fascinating from the mountain. It looked like the jungle goes right out into the ocean. Then there's that little cove down there on the south coast. I'll bet there might even be some pirate's treasure down there. It wouldn't do us any good, but it would be fun to find. The valley also looks like it would be a fun place to explore, but we can't do all that in one day."

"No," Sarah conceded. "That would be too much for one day, but it wouldn't be too much for a week, would it?"

"I don't know, but my birthday's only one day."

"So? We all like to explore. If we ask Timmy, 'Please, pretty please, with cream and sugar on it,' maybe, he'll give us a week vacation from school, so we can camp out and explore all those places."

"Please--Pretty Please--Cream and Sugar--Hugs and kisses--" and a few other pleas I do not remember. The others had suddenly come alive, and everybody spoke at once, including Sarah.

"You just had three days vacation to explore this week." I was already defeated, and wanted to be, but I was not going to make it too easy.

"Please, Timmy, I love you." Julie pleaded.

"Oh, I don't know. You need your education. That's one of the most important things in life, and you can't even read yet, Julie. I think we oughta stay home and teach you to read."

"Explorin' is education." Jamie sat up,

"Please, Timmy, or I'll cry, boohoo, boohoo." Debbie feigned a cry.

"It's only a small island. Sarah poked me in the ribs, knowing of course that I had already conceded in my mind. "There's only so much exploring we can do."

"You want a week off now, to explore that part of the island. Next week, you'll want a week off to explore the ridges and valleys. After that, there'll be something else. There'll be one excuse after another, and we'll be a bunch of dumb bunnies, when they rescue us."

"Okay!" Sarah jumped at the chance. "We'll take two weeks. We wouldn't mind exploring the ridges and valleys, would we, kids?"

"Oh, no you don't! One week is enough. Beside, who's gonna stay here and take care of the goats and puppies."

"The same ones who did last time." Julie chimed in.

"Okay, Smarty Pants, but only one week, and don't try to talk me out of any more. And, Jamie, you only get to be the M.I.P. for one day, Thursday. That's your birthday."

"Yeah, I know," Jamie agreed, "but can I plan the trip?"

"I guess we can give you that much."

"Oh boy! I've already got it planned. We'll start out first thing in the morning."

"No, we won't!" I interrupted him. "Tomorrow's Sunday. We'll stay here and have Sunday School, tomorrow, and start out Monday morning."

"Yeah, that's what I meant. We'll start out Monday morning and go down to the valley below Goat Field, and camp there Monday and Tuesday nights, if we don't get bored. Then we'll make our way to the cove. That looked like pretty heavy jungle so that might be pretty hard. Camp in the cove Wednesday night, and maybe Thursday, that's my birthday. Then, we'll walk on the beach to the other point, and have two days to see what the eastern shore line is like, and come back up the north side."

"What if we don't have water at all those places?" I got up.

"We know there's water in the valley. It's gonna dump into the ocean somewhere. I'll bet there is water all over the place, just like there is here. We need to take our canteens just in case."

"What if we don't find anything worth exploring, see it all, and we get bored and get back before your birthday?" Sarah started toward the cave.

"Then I'll swim in the lake all day."

"Lets go to bed, or we'll be late for Sunday School tomorrow," I followed Sarah.

"We ain't got no special time for Sunday School, Silly," Julie quipped. "We can't be late."

"What if we don't wake up 'til supper time, and have to have Sunday School after supper, wouldn't that be late?"

"We ain't gonna sleep that late. You're really being silly now."

"C'mon, its time for devotions," Sarah ended the argument.

Copyright © 1995
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.

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