Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Braver

Meredith Scott was brave.  That was clear.  She wasn't afraid of loud noises. She didn't run away from mice or other creatures. She was definitely braver than all of the other girls she knew.  She was sure that she was braver than any of the boys she knew as well. Of course, none of the other kids believed that. She was only a girl, after all. How could she possibly be braver than any of the boys? "You're a liar, Meredith," the other kids told her. "You're not braver than a boy."

Meredith was invited to a birthday party for a girl in her class named Lenore Triplett. The birthday party was going to be a scavenger hunt. The hunt would be taking place in the big woods. The guests were paired up in boy/girl pairs. "Boys by themselves are too aggressive." explained Lenore "girls by themselves are too silly." She thought boy/girl pairs would provide the perfect balance.

"Hmm!" mumbled Meredith. "What do I need to be paired up with some stupid boy for? I can do just  fine by myself." She took advantage of the fact that Lenore wasn't very good at math and had invited an uneven number of boys and girls to the party and set out on her own.

They headed into the woods. They began collecting specimens that matched those on the sheet of paper Lenore had handed them at the beginning of the party. They had only been in the woods a few minutes when they heard a noise. It was a very squeaky noise.

"What's that?" asked one of the girls frightenedly grabbing on to her partner.

"A ghost." teased one of the boys.

"Really?" asked the frightened girl.

Meredith glared at the boy. "Don't worry." she said to the girl. "He's just teasing you. There's nothing to be scared of."

 Just than a little chipmunk skittered across the path and disappeared into the other side of the woods.  The boys laughed and chased after the chipmunk. The girls oohed and aahed over how cute it was. The girl who been frightened blushed in embarrassment.

Meredith just shook her head. "It's only a tiny chipmunk." she said. She continued walking through the woods. The other kids fell in step behind her.

A little while later they heard another noise. This time it was a little louder than the first. The girls all exchanged nervous looks but nobody wanted to say anything because of what happened the last time. The boys smiled eagerly excited to see what type of wild life they would be encountering now. Meredith just shook her head and kept walking.

Just then a gray and white badger crossed their path. All of the girls except Meredith went screaming out of the woods. The boys laughed both at the badger and the pack of screaming girls. Meredith just shook her head again. "It's just a little badger." she said.

Meredith and the boys continued on the scavenger hunt by themselves. None of the other girls returned to the woods.  The boys noisily talked to each other as they walked along . Meredith quietly went about collecting specimens by herself.

Soon, there was another even louder noise. It was a kind of growling. Even the brave boys began nervously looking at one another and wondering what it could be. Meredith stood still and listened carefully, but her face showed no emotion.

Up ahead a short distance, they saw a big black bear. The boys bravery completely disappeared and they took off quickly running as fast as they could out of the woods.

Meredith was no dummy. She did not want to have an encounter with a bear either.  She went running out of the woods as fast she could too.

As they were all quickly running out of the woods, one of the boys suddenly tripped over a log and thudded to the ground. He immediately attempted to get up, but then quickly fell back to the ground again wincing in pain. "Help! Somebody help me, please!" he begged practically in tears as he had no desire to be eaten by a bear. None of the other boys even turned around. They just continued speeding out of the woods as fast as their legs could carry them. Only Meredith stopped and turned around. She quickly ran back to the boy . She gave him a hand and helped him up. She helped him limp out of the woods as quickly as they could go which was just ahead of the bear.

After they escaped from the woods, the whole group of boys and girls was reassembled a short distance away. It was determined that everyone was alive and in one piece and relatively unhurt except for the one boy's ankle. It was also determined that because of the bear the rest of the hunt would be cancelled. Instead, they all just went back to Lenore's house for party refreshments.

"You are very brave, Meredith." Lenore told her as they sat comfortably in Lenore's backyard eating birthday cake.  Meredith just shrugged.

"Meredith is the bravest." declared another of the girls.

"Even braver than the boys." added a third girl.

Of course, not even any of the boys could argue with that.

Even though everyone had fun at Lenore's house, and the refreshments were tasty. Lenore was kind of disappointed that her scavenger hunt hadn't gone as planned. "Can't we try to have a scavenger hunt again another day?" she begged her mother.

"Another scavenger hunt?" repeated her mother worriedly. "Well, okay." she agreed finally after a few minutes of Lenore staring at her with big sad puppy dog eyes. "Maybe, we can try it again in a different location."

"Next time, I want to be paired up with Meredith!" exclaimed all of the boys at once.

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