1 comment

Adventure Kids

The Kelly Family looked forward to their regular visits to

Canaan Lake.

         Bessie and Will Kelly had inherited the very primitive four

room cottage many years earlier. It served them year after year

nicely, as it provided for a weekend of quiet and relaxation. It was

a place where one could think clearly, without the frequent

interruptions of big city life.

         It included a screened front porch with a number of small

beds. In this area one could sleep well in the cool of darkness.

         The cottage had just four light bulbs. A light bulb did not

serve the front porch.

         There was no light bulb in the outhouse. The indoor

plumbing consisted of the big handle at the kitchen sink where

one could pump water up from the well.


         Bessie and Will had three children. Michael, age 13, was at a

stage in life where his primitive urges of mischief would soon

become manifest.

         Eileen, age 8, was a pleasant and sensitive child. She adored

her older brother.

         Jimmy, age 7, also a pleasant child, was still in the

development stages of his persona.

         Upon arrival on any weekend, shutter boards were opened

over the screens of the front porch. Most of the resident bats on

the inside of the shutters shifted, but usually remained asleep. A

few would wake and fly off.

         “Don’t let a bat get stuck in your hair, Eileen,” Michael said

with seriousness.

         While the adults were opening the cottage up to welcome in

the fresh air, Michael approached Eileen from behind. He dangled

a small leafy branch over her head.

         Eileen screamed.

         “Stop it, Michael” is all Will had to say.

         “Get your bathing suits on,” Bess yelled as she pulled open

the curtains.

         Michael, Eileen, and Jimmy complied readily without


         Then the walk. It was two long blocks down the road along

the forest to Canaan Lake.

Heaven for the kids. Splash and swim.

        Heaven for the adults. Open the cooler and pass out the


         Life was good.

Bess returned to the cottage a little early to prepare the

simple pasta dinner.

In the late afternoon, Will and the children gathered up their

goods to head back to the cottage.

         Cooking dinner was a labor of love. Not that she missed

activities at the lake, but putting a meal together in primitive

circumstances was most definitely challenging, an adventure

for Bess!

It was difficult for her to pump the water up from the well

and into the sink. 

         The crew returned from the lake. The children were

exhausted from splashing and swimming.

Eileen had consumed most of the lemonade.

       The adults were very relaxed from the numerous beers.

        Dinner commenced shortly. Usually, after such an active, fun-

filled afternoon, dinner plates were left totally cleaned, which then

qualified each person to be a member of the “Clean Plate Club.”

         All three children passed with flying colors.

         Exhaustion . . .

         Then the lights! All four light bulbs were then dashed!


Totally dark!

No candles and no preparation for something like this.

The squirrel did not make it. After tripping the power failure,

he fell to his death with nary a witness to his demise.

No funeral.

Poor squirrel!

Total darkness.

Hoot owls could be heard discussing the matter at hand.  

Everyone nervous.

Will groped his way to the truck to fetch his flashlight.

The flashlight became the lifeline to survival.

“I have a tent in the truck. Do you kids want to camp out in

the backyard?”



“Sure, yes!”

Using the flashlight, Will was able to set up the tent with

Mike’s help.

The tent was purposely set up very close to the outhouse.

Will made a point to show the children the proximity of the

tent to both the cottage and the outhouse.

“Call for me if you need me to come with the flashlight,” Will

offered. “You will love having a campout!”

All settled in for a good night’s sleep.

“If you need any help with something, wake me up,” Michael

said to Eileen and Jimmy.

The devil was in Michael.

“There are critters roaming around at night out here. Be

ready to run for the house,” Michael said. “Good night, sleep tight

and don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

“What’s a bedbug?” Jimmy asked.

Eileen was already asleep.

“Good night, Jimmy. Go to sleep,” Michael directed.

Michael waited for about ten minutes. He carefully slipped

out of the tent. He scratched the sides of the tent, growling loudly.

“Michael, Michael!” Eileen screamed.

Michael slipped back into the tent.

“I heard something growling and scratching!” Michael said.

“So did I,” Eileen said with fright.

Jimmy was now awake. He sat with fear written across his

face. Unseen, as it was pitch dark.

“I think I chased it away,” Michael said. “Let’s go back to


So, they did.

Three hours passed. Eileen woke to realize that she needed to


Eileen was getting close to being grown up like Michael. She

would be brave and take the matter into her own hands. She

slipped out of the tent and felt for the outhouse. She would not go

into it, of course! She dropped her pants and let the urine flow.

She was in command! When done, she pulled up her pants.

Unbeknownst to Eileen, a natural event had occurred during

the process. A toad had innocently hopped into her pants!

Her screams woke everyone up.

Jimmy sat in the tent and was petrified.

Michael woke up and was confused.

Michael slipped out of the tent rapidly, but could not locate

where the screams were coming from. What happened to Eileen

and where was she?

A light appeared shortly.

“Michael!” Will yelled. “What’s going on?”

“I don’t know. I heard Eileen yell. But I can’t find her,” Michael

said with panic.

With the flashlight, Will spotted Eileen in front of the

outhouse. She laid in front of the outhouse with her pants down.

She was crying quietly.

Equally traumatized was the toad. It was confused as it sat

inside her pants.

Will picked Eileen up and carried her into the cottage. He

placed her comfortably into bed next to Bess.

Will kissed Bess and Eileen goodnight. Eileen, comforted in

her father’s arms, was already asleep as he placed her on the bed

with Bess.

He placed the flashlight on the night table and felt his way out

to the tent. This would be the boy’s night out in the tent.

Michael still lay awake.

Jimmy was back to sleep.

Will felt for the outhouse. He now needed to pee. He, too, did

not want to venture into the darkness of the outhouse.

So, he did what many males do.

It’s only natural.

He had the luxury of not having to worry about toads!

After all, toads hop, but they do not climb mountains!

September 10, 2020 15:04

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

21:12 Sep 16, 2020

Funny story!


Show 0 replies