The Swimming Hole

Alex ran down the school steps to grab his bike from the bike rack. It is so hot out! I’m glad it’s the last week of school. He wiped the sweat off his forehead. Spotting Markus, he swung his leg over the bar of his bike.
“Markus, ya wanna go swimming with me?” Alex invited, catching up to Markus on his bike. The walkers blocked his way on the sidewalk. He rode his bike off the sidewalk and onto the road.
“Yea! Stop at my house so I can get a towel.” Markus answered, pulling into his driveway, he threw his bike down and ran into the house.
Alex watched as the walkers passed the driveway. Raising his hand to flag Jeff down while he past by. Alex watched as Jeff spun around with his bike.
“Hey Jeff! Were going swimming. Wanna come? Markus is getting his towel.” Alex stood in the driveway straddling his bike. This is gonna be awesome!


“Yea. Wait for me. I’ll be right back.” Jeff called over his shoulder, quickly pulling into his driveway to toss his bike down onto the ground. Jeff sprinted into his house.
“Where’d Jeff go?” Markus asked, picking up his bike with a towel slung over his shoulder. He stuffed a soda bottle into the bottle holder on his bike.
“Said he’d be right back.” Alex let his eye follow the walkers by the house. I hope he hurries, I’m hot!


“All right. Got one too.” Jeff stated with his towel tied around his waist. His bike still plastered with mud from the fun they had yesterday.
“Alex, have you ever gone swimming here?” Markus called over to him as they neared their destination. Their bikes bounced over the rough trail.
“Na… but it’s hot out and I really need to cool off.”
Jeff flashed past Alex as they neared the pond. They rushed down a steep embankment to stop on a small beach. Alex raced to keep up with Jeff.
“Last one in is a rotten egg.” Alex yelled dropping his bike and kicking off his shoes. He raced across the beach into the water.
“Alex, you not gonna take off your clothes?” Markus looked surprised to see Alex already in the water.
“Na…this is good enough.” Alex splashed the water all around him. He dove underwater and resurfacing quickly. The water felt good, but the muddy bottom did not. Yuck!


“Is the water cold?” Jeff asked, unsure whether to jump right into the water like Alex did.
“Na… it’s great. Come on guys!” Alex called to them. He flipped this way and that way in the water.
Alex saw Markus dive into the water with a splash. Then he saw the movement from the corner of his eye.
“Woo ho!” Alex pointed to a log floating near by where they swam.
“Aw Man, look at that turtle!” Jeff shouted spotting the turtle sitting on the log.
“Its huge!” Markus carefully moved away from the log.
“Isn’t that a snapper?” Jeff asked moving behind Alex.
“Get that stick for me!” Alex called to Markus.
“What are ya gonna do man?” Jeff sounded fearful of the turtle’s sharp beak.
Markus made his way closer to the shore. He picked up the thick stick and swam back to Alex. Handing it to him, he moved out of the way.
“Check this out!” Alex shoved the stick toward the turtle’s mouth. The sharp jaws latched onto the stick. The stick snapped in half.
“Oh wow, did you see that?” Markus shouted excitedly. He had moved closer to the shore.
“Yea! It snapped that stick right in half!” Alex smiled. Look at those puppies run from a little old turtle! Alex found his friends amusing.
“I don’t think I wanna swim in here with that thing! I’m getting out.” Markus stated as he made his way onto the shore.
“Yea! Me too!” Jeff agreed, quickly following Markus.
“Aw come on guys, don’t let that turtle scare you!” Alex wined. They are such sissies!


“E uw …what’s that all over you?” Jeff pointed to Markus’s back.
“Leaches!” Markus screamed looking over his shoulder. “Ah! Get ‘em off me!”
“Arg! Their on me too!” Jeff panicked. His legs covered with the squirmy black things.
“Alex, get out of the water. It’s loaded with bloodsuckers!” Markus yelled as he plucked the squiggles off him.
“Bloodsuckers! Ahh! Their all inside my clothes” Alex screamed, quickly running out of the water while yanking off his clothes.
Copyright  © November 2009 by Linda Nelson

Berry Picking For Mom

Nadine loved going berry picking with her mom. They would go every weekend starting in the month of July in the woods behind their house. But on this day, Nadine wanted to surprise her mom by picking the berries for her, without her mom’s help.

Nadine put her yellow t-shirt on. It was the one that matched her bright straw colored hair. The shirt snagged a bit on her ponytails.

After finding her sneakers under her bed and putting them on, she hurried to the kitchen to find a bowl to collect the berries in. Her mom was not up yet and the bowls were up high in the cabinet. She used a chair to get one down. She smiled. The plastic blue one was in reach.

She put the chair back quietly. Her mom must not know. This was suppose to be a surprise for her.

The sun was shinning brightly. It hurt her eyes some when she stepped out the door with her bowl in hand. The wooden door slammed shut behind her. She stood still for a minute listening for sounds coming from the house, hoping her mom did not hear the slam.

Not a sound came from the house. Nadine ran to the hill and began to climb it. It was grass covered and slightly steep with large rocks imbedded in the ground. These were great for holding on to.

She found the berry patch almost immediately and began to pick. The ground was covered with small blueberry bushes which her small nimble fingers found easy to pick.

It took her a while to pick enough berries to fill the bowl. She had no idea how much time had passed. The sun was now high in the sky.

Nadine began walking in the directions she thought she had come. The trees suddenly did not look like the ones she remembered. She turned around and began walking toward where she had just come from. The berry bushes were gone. She was afraid she might be lost and again turned and started walking in another direction.

A tree branch cracked behind her. She stopped to listen. Some thing or somebody was following her in the woods. She hoped it was not a big animal like a fox or bear. Nadine called out, “Who’s there?”

No answer, just the sound of branches and leaves crunching under foot. Nadine called out again. “Mommy?”

No answer, the sound was getting closer. Nadine felt scared. She did not know what it was, what she did know was that she was lost and her mom would be very mad at her.

She began to run from the sound.

A tree branch caught her right foot and she went down on the ground. The bowl of berries flew out of her hand and spilled all over the ground.

She did not hear any more sounds behind her. Nadine spent the next few moments picking up her spilled berries. When she was done, only half the bowl was full. She was hungry so she ate them while she picked them off the ground.

The sound of foot steps in the woods began again behind her. But this time there seemed to be more of them. Voices…she heard voices coming with them.

“Nadine!” One of the voices called.

“Nadine!” Another voice called.

Nadine answered. “Yea! Over here!”

The foot steps sounded like several people running toward her.

“Coming baby!” That was the sound of her mom.

She watched the woods in the direction she had come from, there in the trees she saw her mom followed by a police man and a woman with a German Sheppard.. It wore an orange vest.

The dog spotted her and ran right for her.

It stopped before her and began sniffing her pant leg. It’s tail was wagging. The dog began trying to lick her face.

“Good girl, Bobby!” The woman said to the dog.

She was so happy to see her mom. The police man picked Nadine up and handed her to her mom.

“Nadine, we have been looking for you all day!” Her mom said.

Nadine showed the bowl of berries to her mom. “I picked these for you…for breakfast.”

Her mom held her tight. “Thank you Nadine. But little girls like you should not go into the woods alone. You had me so worried.”

“Okay,” Nadine said reluctantly. “Can I when I’m seven?”

“No, that is still too little.” Her mom replied. “Maybe when you are ten. But five year old little girls should never go in the woods alone.”

“Okay, Mommy.”

Nadine held tight to her bowl of berries all the way home.