Story II


Arriving in the clearing, the brothers searched for blackberries. Soon, their mouths were black and blue around the edges from berry juice. The high sun warmed their faces. It was about 2pm when they left, Jim remembered. He had learned to read the clock with hands that now hung on the wall in the room were Great-Granddad was staying during “lockdown”. The room was on the way out the back door, and ever-curious Jim had peeked inside on his way out to play. He had learned to read the clock by asking his Pa-pa questions one dragging afternoon.

“I think it’s about 2.30,” called Jack, contented with the blackberries he had eaten. “How ever do you know?” asked Jim, intrigued. “Oh, Dad taught me to use the sun, North and my wrist, to tell the time. Mrs. Eager taught us that North is that way,” said Jack, pointing away from the mountain. “Mum told us to be home for afternoon tea,” said Jim, remembering, “It’s going to be a surprise. What time do you think that will be?” Jack shrugged. “You guess. But let’s not be late.” Realizing how important it was, he thought again. Both brothers exclaimed: “3pm!” when they tried to beat each other to work out the time of afternoon tea.

Urgent to do something before they ran out of time, Jack and Jim promptly stopped picking blackberries, and looked about them. Jack wiped his mouth on the back of his sleeve. “You’ll catch the Caronavirus being dirty like that,” Jim warned him. Both boys stiffened with the mention of the virus. Jack, thinking quick, bent down and picking up a pinecone, threw it across the clearing with all his might. “I was just going to say we should pray-” began Jim, but he was cut off mid-thought when the pinecone made a bonk noise as it hit something solid. “What’s that?” said Jack, “there’s something behind that clematis!” He exclaimed, breaking into a sprint. “Come on Jim, you’ll miss the adventure!”

Jim started running to catch up, and called out, “My friend Sophie told me to pray when you’re worried or scared.” “Keep your mind on the job,” urged Jack, “I want to find out what’s here.” He began tugging away the clematis. “Watch out!” Yelled Jim. “Will you help me?” Asked Jack, bubbling with irritation. “Ouch!!” Jack had grabbed the blackberry runner that Jim had been warning about. “Oow oow oow!” Yelped Jack. What can we do?!? thought Jim.


… More from me next time.

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