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Peering From the Woods
Peering from the woods, we feel the watcher. Friendly? Curious? Dangerous? The woods around the world can be jungle, bush, forest, a backyard. It’s a tangle of shadows, a spot to hide.
Writers contemplate the watcher’s next move. They craft the place and people involved. Peering from the woods, stories emerge. (Photo Credit: J. Madland)
August 9, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes an act of “peering from the woods.”
PART I (10-minutes)
Ed in the Woods by Charli Mills
Ed was peering at me again. I could feel his gaze crawl across my shoulders. Let me finish the chapter, Ed. The Legendary Leaphorn is in the arroyo. The tickle continues. I persevere, finish the chapter and set down Tony Hillerman’s latest southwest detective book.
Snagging a sip from my gin, tonic, and blueberries, I grab a fresh-husked corn.
Ed still peers at me from the edge of the woods. His ears twist like radar. Slowly I raise my offering. He hesitates, leans in and nibbles from my hand. The deer dashes off, leaving me to read in peace.
Into the Forest by Jack Schuyler
I peered into the woods and the woods peered back.
“Enter into my respite.” Said the woods. It spoke in tongues of wind and beckoned me with all the rhythms of the earth. “Walk beneath my shade, swim in my streams, eat of my harvest.”
“But mother told me no.” I replied, “She says beasts of night roam your shadows and sweet poisons wait beneath your trees.”
“All true,” growled the forest, “and you would do well to heed her advice. But if you stay in the shelter of the village, do not expect to share in my treasures.”
Mountain Lion by Heather Gonzalez
“Aren’t there mountain lions in these woods?” Samantha shivered as she pulled her sleeping back closer to her body.
“Stop worrying so much and just enjoy it.” Jack turned off the lantern and settled in.
Noises kept coming from beyond the clearing. Jack had fallen asleep and no amount of whispering for help would wake him. Samantha slowly unzipped the tent to peer out upon her fate. She saw the eyes peering from the woods and froze in fear. There was nowhere to run.
A soft meow came from behind the bushes.
“Some mountain lion you are.” she laughed.
Luminesce (from “Lynx Valley Biohabitat”) by Saifun Hassam
Valerie and Carmen tracked Luminesce to a tumbled mass of boulders and ledges. The bobcat’s den was hidden by tangled vines and woody shrubs.
Lynx Valley Biohabitat was a mix of woodlands and open scrub land. Tall grass grew along the Lissoire River. From the Rover, Valerie caught the glint of eyes peering from the woods.
Luminesce stole into the tall grass. A panicked rabbit shot out. Near the river, the red deer froze. With powerful strides, the bobcat pounced ferociously on the deer. She dragged it through the tall grass, to her waiting cubs at the woods’ edge.
Sad Cat Diary: Wildlife Edition by Robert Kirkendall
The mountain lion came up to the forest’s edge drawn by the scent of food. She peered from the woods at a flock of livestock in a nearby pasture.
One of those sheep could feed me and my little ones for a week, the mountain lion thought as she longed for the forbidden sustenance, but if I take one, the humans will come after me and kill me! I only want one, the lion moped, and they have so many, it isn’t fair.
The dejected feline slouched in defeat. Why must the humans be so cruel? she wondered piteously.
Lone Ranger by Nancy Brady
Going crazy, our cat saw something in the dark that she felt shouldn’t be in her territory. At first, I couldn’t see anything, but her night vision is better. But then I noticed the glint of dark eyes staring at us from the wildflower garden. A tangle of weeds and flowers blossom on the edge of the property, allowing for fauna hiding within, and on this night, the masked bandit was hiding inside.
Why the raccoon was there wasn’t apparent until the next day when we discovered our sweet corn was decimated, a tasty snack for a midnight marauder.
Watching Out for the Birdwatcher by Anne Goodwin
Birdseed on the fence post again. My heart skips. Who would dare feed animals when people starve? An ornithologist, that’s who. Another forbidden word.
Scrambling over the layers of barbed wire, I pick my way through a soggy carpet of mashed leaves into the shelter of the trees. Birds flit from branch to branch, their sweet song sweeping all worries from my mind. Then I hear it, smell it: someone’s stopped at the fence.
Peering from the woods, I must be dreaming. Whacko has a gentle side? Something to use against him the next time he brandishes his cane.
Possum by kate @ aroused
Polly swung through the forest
of large macadamia trees
drawn by the scent of ripened fruit
She spied a woolly alpaca herd
grazing contentedly with a horse
Buster watched on from a distance
But Polly was blinded by the sun soaked
fields as she was accustomed to the dark
yet the orchard beckoned heavy with fruit
She would have to wait until dark
to scamper across those open fields
to gorge on a gluttonous banquet
Alpacas and horse would by asleep
but Buster might be on alert
so she would need a sprinting spurt!
Polly’s long peep was fruitful!
Flash Fiction by Di @ pensitivity101
Here’s Looking at You.
Did you hear it? That gentle rustling in the leaves.
Did you see it? A quick flash of a white flagged rump.
Did you catch it? Yes, but only on film.
Did it see you? Most definitely, it was looking right at me.
I often wonder what animals think of us humans when they see us intruding on their domain. I am certain there are more creatures looking at us than we realise.
The woods are alive with insects, snakes, animals and birds.
It is their world, and we abuse it. In fact, we’re killing it with our pollution.
The Heat of the Day by Carol Keefer
The clearing in the forest was so bright, filled to the rim with hot sunlight suddenly free of trees to beam down and touch the earth with its heat. I had had enough of the sun’s heat and wanted only to observe this quiet, serene oasis from a point in the shade of trees so I peered from the woods. Suddenly, a black grizzly and a doe sprang from the trees on the other side. What could be pursuing them? They were running together. It was only a few minutes later when I smelled the smoke wafting towards me.
Fox Cub by JulesPaige
Seeming to be always at as well as on edge;
creeping closer just to see if it was safe. Like
her namesake, senses on high alert – always.
They had left her to fend for herself. Was there
a lesson to be learned? Distant from community,
yet wanting to be a part – included, but always
to some extent excluded.
They made up excuses for her lack of cooperation. Dim-witted, ignorant, lame; would limping be her way of life.
The forest had felt safer when the sun was out.
But there were predators everywhere. Perhaps
that was the lesson They taught?
The Fawn by Rosemary Carlson
She watched him when he was a fawn. Come summer, he grew spikes. A young buck. He was unafraid of her. He grew accustomed to her apples. He came to the porch and snatched the food from her hand. She grew to love him that winter. She was alone.
The next summer, he was a four-point buck. He came to the porch. She tried to make him go away, fearful he was too accustomed to people.
It’s been ten years. An old buck comes to the porch. He takes the apples. She knows by his eyes that it’s him.
Peering Through by Peregrine Arc
Mary stood in her bedroom, staring closely into the antique mirror hung on the peeling wallpaper. Music crackled on the radio from across the hallway.
An oil painting hung behind Mary of a lake and cabin scene at dusk. A man was smoking a glowing pipe patiently, peering from the woods. She could smell the smoke.
But every night, after Mary finally turned away from the mirror, the man vanished. The painting returned to normal, barren of any figures.
But the light was left on in the cabin tonight. And its front door was left open, quiet and inviting.
The Connection by D. Avery
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“What? The research? The constant camping it requires? Or…us?”
“All of it. I’m just done.”
“Ok. I’m sorry if this crazy venture made our relationship impossible. I’ll hike out with you. I’ve given up on ever finding Sasquatch. I’m done too.”
It wasn’t just his obsession with his work. She’d never felt a strong connection with him. She knew now that she could have more.
While he packed up the equipment, she hid the tufts of hair she’d found under a stone, brushed over a footprint.
Sasquatch peered from the woods, relieved and sad.
Knowing by D. Avery
They trudged to the logging road together, loaded the equipment into his truck, rode in silence to the general store where her car was parked.
“I guess he doesn’t exist”, he said to her as goodbye.
“I guess not”, she replied, and went into the store as he drove away.
Resupplied, she returned to where she had seen the signs and had felt Sasquatch’s presence. She was learning that finding Sasquatch doesn’t require any electronic equipment, only being fearless and open-hearted.
She smiled to find wildflowers left for her on a log, smiled that he’d known she’d be back.
Surprise! by Norah Colvin
She parked her car beside his and grabbed her bag. As she locked the car, she looked around. Where was he? He said he’d be watching for her. Cicadas buzzed louder than her footsteps crunched the gravel. A bird startled as it squawked and flapped overhead. Where was he? He must know she’d arrived. Even with the fairy lights, it was darker than she liked. Peering from the bushes, he willed her to be brave, to open the tent, to find what he’d made for her. Finally, tentatively, she pushed aside the flap. Her screams silenced the night chorus.
Feral Natives by Chelsea Owens
The small natives, unkempt and unruly, peer from a shadowed arch. They stop, keenly watching an inert female creature just ahead.
The first whispers, “What’s she doin’?”
His companion checks. “Nuffin’. Sleepin’, most like.”
Urrrrhaghaaah! She moans. They scamper back to shadow’s safety.
“Did she see ya?” The younger sucks a finger.
A quick peek. “Nah. I think she’s fakin’.”
One second later: “Now what’s she doin’?”
He looks again. “Rolled over.” He scowls. “-Wait! I saw a light. She’s got her phone!”
“She’s awake!” Excited, the younger boy grips his brother’s arm.
Drat, she says.
“Let’s get ‘er!”
Becoming Wild by Paula Moyer
February, 1966: Jean’s family did a suburbs-to-small-town move. Home was a two-bedroom rental at the edge of town. Behind the house, a woodsy spot. Jean was 13, Sam 11, Donny 9.
When summer came, that spot grew dark with leaves. Sam and Donny disappeared into it every morning after breakfast. They would grab lunch and vanish again. Jean ignored them, practiced the piano.
“Jean, go get the boys,” Mom called from the kitchen. “It’s supper time.”
Sounded easy. Jean stood at the trees’ edge. “Guys, supper!”
A Taste of Wisdom by Molly Stevens
Mary tapped a forbidden cylinder from the box. She couldn’t believe her good fortune, having found half a pack beside the road. She peered through the woods at her home, struck a match, and took her first drag.
I didn’t even cough. I knew I’d be good at this.
Later she shuffled home, wondering how to conceal her headache and nausea.
At the sound of the screen door, her mother said, “What have you been doing?”
“Does God give you what you want to teach you stuff?”
Her mother smelled cigarette smoke, observed her daughter’s pale countenance, and smiled.
Peering by Floridaborne
“You say you’ve never been camping before?” He asked, with a twinkle in his eye that I didn’t like.
I looked down at two sleeping bags thrown on top of ferns and bristled. “We don’t belong here.”
“Don’t worry about that rusty, no trespassing sign,” he scoffed.
“She told me we’ll die here tonight,” I replied, pointing at a deer peering out at me from the bush. “We’ll be thrown into a mass grave.”
He threw his sleeping bags into the back seat and we drove to the paved road in silence. Yet another relationship ruined by my gift.
Caught In The Act by Ritu Bhathal
“Well Annie, that was fun! We should make these meetings of ours interesting more often.”
Petey unzipped the front flap of his yellow tent, allowing for a slice of light to cut through the darkness of the forest.
He stepped out and stretched, post-coitally, opening his eyes to the beauty of nature.
What was that?
Peering from the woods, he swore he saw the face of his wife, Susan, eyes open wide in horror.
A rustling sound followed.
“Come back Petey honey, we’ve still got time.” Annie’s voice brought him back.
Petey feared his time was up.
Ready by The Dark Netizen
Cadet Billy peered from the woods.
Perseus’ bullet had missed. Medusa had spotted them. Things were not going well. This was his first field mission, and he already felt that he was out of place. These were not mere humans. What chance did he have of contributing at all? He could see Medusa approaching, almost gliding towards them. He began to feel numb. Was he turning into stone? No. This was fear. He watched as Perseus drew his heavy pistol drawn. Keynes caught Billy’s eye, and nodded at him. Billy could not let his mentor down.
Billy was ready.
PART II (10-minutes)
Devastation by Diana Nagai
Night fell over the property. A leather lead dangled useless in his hand. He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder and he looked up. The firefighter shook her head. So, his horse had not been found.
“It’s time to evacuate.” She paused, then added, “Please.”
His heart constricted and he wiped a tear.
As he turned to the flames engulfing the barn and beyond, he could have sworn he saw eyes peering from the woods behind the fire line. God, he hoped so. He screamed a silent prayer. Run! The eyes disappeared. He never saw Diamond again.
Fawn Within Fawn by Late Night Girl
“Oh deer! No headlights this time; Just eye to eye”, I thought to myself when I encountered this beautiful beast unsuccessfully trying to camouflage as a tree. Its two-leaf ears gave it away! My green coat may have equally looked like food, too, but I actually was looking for some game, yet couldn’t bring myself to break it to the fawn, gun in hand!
What now?! We could both pretend neither is here or just hop on to the next best eatable opportunity down the food chain.
I leave it to the reader to decide what happened next.
Imagination – Another Strange Meeting by Gordon Le Pard
“Then they looked out of the wood – and saw dinosaurs!”
The novelist put the papers down. “A good way of ending the episode?”
The palaeontologist nodded, “Wonderful, what an imagination you have.”
“You too must have imagination, to create lost worlds out of fragments of bone.”
“But not like you.”
As he left he thought of the bones in his workshop. His imagination had created something very special, the Missing Link, but no one would realise it wasn’t real for many years, if ever.
His friend was just a great writer, however he was the greatest scientific hoaxer ever.
Dashing by Miriam Hurdle
Peering from the wood, something got its attention. It dashed across the road.
Thump, thump, thud!
“Oh, no. I didn’t see it coming.” Sid and Cindy jumped out of the car.
“The impact was forceful. It crushed the front of the car.”
“Is the deer okay?” Cindy looked at its head.
“Let’s wait. It’s trying to get up…”
“It’s limping across the road.”
“It went across okay… No, it flopped and lied still.”
“Do we want to go camping?”
“The engine suffered the impact. Let’s go home.”
* * *
“Our car took the last breath getting us home.”
Flash Fiction by Geoff Le Pard
‘You can’t see the woods for the trees, eh?’
‘That’s another stupid expression. All I was saying was I saw something in there.’
‘Seriously, it was alive.’
‘It could be that weirdo.’
‘Any specific weirdo?’
‘I’m going home.’
‘Don’t be a wuss, Morgan. Probably a deer.’
‘Or a lion.’
‘You know they say a tree makes no sound if there’s no one to hear it when it falls. Do you think you can see a lion if you’re not there when it appears?’
‘You’re a moron as well as a coward, Morgan.’
The Deadly Hunt by Anurag Bakhshi
Travis looked at the cute, round-as-buttons eyes peering at him through the woods, and smiled.
He had spent half his life searching for the Ringa-Tinga-Ling, the mythical oldest animal species in the world. Today, he and his cameraman had finally found him.
Still smiling, Travis raised his rifle, and took careful aim. His cameraman saw what he was doing, and shouted, “What the…” But before he could finish, Travis had fired.
And even before the cameraman had hit the ground, Travis took out his handgun, and shot himself.
The Ringa-Tinga-Ling looked on with his cute, round-as-button eyes, and smiled.
Flash Fiction by Robbie Cheadle
Going on a picnic was a treat for the family. Dad carefully cleared a circular patch in the undergrowth while the children collected rocks. Dad packed the rocks around the cleared patch to ensure that the fire he was building was well contained. Everyone was busy preparing for the fun of cooking their lunch sausages on sticks over the open fire.
“Where’s Hayley,” Mom asked.
She was nowhere to be seen. She must have slipped away while they were all working.
Sheila smiled with relief when she saw her peering from the small copse of trees nearby. Thank goodness.
Who’s Watching Julie by Oneta Hayes
Four-year-old Julie, intent on filling her basket with flowers, wandered from camp, unaware that eyes were peering from the woods. She walked deeper and deeper into the brush and trees. Julie – as sweet and innocent as Little Red Riding Hood going to her grandmother’s house.
Fortunately Julie’s Grandmother was not sick in bed; she was in the camp. Where’s Julie? She sounded the alarm and campers began the search. Aha! It wasn’t long before Grandmother herself found Julie. Neither was aware of the Wolf who slunk away without a sound except for the hungry growling of his stomach.
Pee(r)ing Through the Woods by Deborah Lee
Jane hunkers down in the foliage. Her knees already ache from the awkward stance. She checks her pants and shoes; both should be out of the splash zone.
Just as she relaxes her muscles, feels the stream start beneath her, of course that’s when she hears voices.
She’s been here for hours, hoping for someone who might buy a paper. Naturally, it’s not until she can’t hold it anymore, with the nearest public restroom an hour away, that anybody comes along.
Jane narrows her eyes, peering through the bushes. If she can’t see them, they can’t see her…right?
Flash Fiction by a story forms my mind
Startled. Her eyes snap open. The right side of her face and mouth pressed into wet pine needles. Above her the sky, barely visible through the dark canopy of spruce.
Her arm aches and somehow her dress has been torn. She unfurls herself from the forest floor, searches for her phone, her bag, anything that will explain why she is here.
The only sound, the creaking of trees as they move in a wind she cannot feel. She sees eyes peering brightly from the trees and hears the roar of traffic from the highway.
Then nothing but cold.
Those Two by Reena Saxena
All the persuasion by his friends failed to make him participate in a jungle picnic. He looked petrified, and his wife insisted that he be left alone. The friends decided to take him to a counsellor later.
Nobody realized that he was consumed by guilt. It was a crime committed in the first flush of youth. He finished college, found a job and married a beautiful girl.
But, those two eyes never stopped peering at him from the woods. Those two eyes spewed fire, and swore revenge. He did not know if those two eyes were dead or alive.
Silhouettes by Bill Engleson
At that time, the lake was more a swamp.
Stumps rose like rogue cannons, wooden effigies of flooded farmland.
We hiked the deer path that edged the water.
Eventually, we found a grassy knoll that afforded a cushion of comfort and privacy.
Our adolescent fumblings did not betray us.
Soft sun bathed my lover’s skin.
Still, something, real, imagined, concerned her.
“Are you sure we’re alone?” she whispered.
I was sure of very little then.
“Why?” I asked, looking into the nearby bush.
“I don’t know,” she said. “It just feels creepy.”
That did it.
We hightailed outta there.
Cache Only Memory Access by Deepa
I could feel Thomas hands intertwined in mine. I could hear him. He was telling me about the memories of our adventures. I am not sure how long I had been lying in the coma.
Thomas gently caressed my hands and peered into my eyes, “the auburn color of your hair reminded me of the woods, and now it shines like the snow. You ask me why I didn’t seek adventure over the years.”
How could I do it without you? We are partners in crime.
Thomas was an adventure freak. Tears trickled from my eyes.
Sanctuary by abhiray59
Deer calf was peering through the bush. It was looking curiously at the movement of humans down the trail. Other members of its family and friends were nearby having their daily feed of green grass. This calf was curious.
Sam raised his rifle to aim at the deer. “Don’t shoot. This is a sanctuary. Wild animals are expected to be safe here”, said Sid, a fellow hiker.
A leopard pounced on the calf. Curious calf was enamored with humans. It forgot about other lurking dangers in the sanctuary. After all, it was a sanctuary for the leopard too.
The Hollow by Kati MacArthur
It was a dim, dark forest. I stood on the edge, looking in at a large green fern, solitary in the darkened clearing, spotlighted by a single dusty beam of filtered verdant light. No crickets here, no birds. Just sunlight and darkness: cool, green, quiet.
I see these things when my serenity is threatened. They are images from the hollow where my friend goes to mourn her horse.
In times of strife, I remember this: melancholy sunshine with cool, green quiet a few steps away. Two separate worlds, one before me, one behind me. Which way do I turn?
From the Woods by Allison Maruska
I crawl through Darkness, the ever-present being, one I can’t touch but knows me completely.
Darkness wants to keep me here, in these woods, surrounded, lost. If I have no hope of escape, Darkness gets her wish. But if I find the way out, Darkness is powerless to stop me.
So I crawl, unsure of direction. I could be heading farther into her depths. But then, I see it: a light. It’s a pinpoint at first, but it gives me direction. And so I crawl.
Finally, I find Darkness’s edge, and peering out from the woods, I see hope.
Flash Fiction by Anita Dawes
About an hour into the woods, I thought I heard a sound. Just ahead of me, peering through the trees I could see 12 standing stones with a large stone table in the middle. I had never seen these before so I took dozens of photographs.
The air seemed to whisper with strange sounds, almost words I could not hear.
I reached home and downloaded them. My breath was taken by the sight of King Arthur and his knights. There had been no one there. Had my imagination imprinted these images, or was it my desire to be there?
Silence by oneletterup
She likes it here. How the breeze blows her hair as she swings. Back and forth.
The soft sweat pants protect the scabs on her legs.
“What’s your name?” the little boy keeps asking.
But she keeps shaking her head. Silent.
The little girl asks “Ya wanna swing with me?”
She smiles and nods.
In mid swing she sees it.
A flash of red. Movement.
In woods across the street.
Foot down scraping grass.
Swing slows. Jumps off. Stares hard.
Someone is peering at her from under a tree.
Turning around, she runs.
The little girl follows.
Unwelcome Guests by Susan Sleggs
“My Dad told me the new people in the fenced mansion belong to the Mob,” Rock said.
“I heard it was some rich old guy with a sexy young wife,” Dude answered.
Crazy, always needing excitement, suggested, “Let’s sneak through the woods to see what we can see by their pool.”
Shortly the rowdies peered around dense manicured bushes at scantily clad young beauties.
A body guard turned their direction saying loudly, “I can feel eyes on us.” He reached behind his back bringing a gun forward and fired a shot above their heads. “Next time I won’t miss!”
Fred’s Confession by Sherri Matthews
Fred peered out from behind the garden shed into the steely-eyed glare of Ethel through the kitchen window. He froze.
‘Hello my sweet, you look lovely today,’ Fred squirmed.
‘Get yer hairy arse back inside, now!’
Fred padded gingerly into the kitchen and gulped. ‘Ethel, me and Mavis…’ He caught his reflection in the mirror, distracting him from his confession. Funny, the dentist hadn’t mentioned how long and sharp his teeth had grown. And his hair, so grey…
‘Shut up yer gormless twit,’ Ethel fumed, ‘Mavis is a slut, but you…you’re a bleedin’ werewolf and it’s full moon tonight.’
The Lewis and Rebman Expedition by TN Kerr
Lewis increased his pace to catch up and have a word with Rebman, “I expect our way will be blocked when we round the next bend. Have you seen them?”
“Seen whom?” Rebman asked. He glanced about, now noticing flashes of bright crimson and deep indigo between the dense trees. He asked, “Who are they?”
“The locals here are autochthonous,” Lewis advised. “They claim to be descended from Lellages, the purported elder son of Belabub. Who, in turn was a Philistine god. The Hebrews called him Beelzebub, the Christians, called him Satan.”
“I believe so, Rebman? I believe so.”
The Target by Patrick O’Connor
Breathe in, Breathe out.
Breathe in, Breathe out.
Breathe in, Breathe out.
The wind is negligible.
No one would be able to see me from this perch as I peer from the forest.
I am a good mile away anyway.
Looking through the scope again.
Breathe in, Breathe out.
Don’t move at all.
Last check. I’m ready.
Big inhale. Slow exhale.
Squeezing the trigger until…
Three, Two, One.
Looking through the scope again.
Right on target.
That guy won’t be a problem anymore.
Lone Wolf to command.
On to the next target.
Outlast by Kerry E.B. Black
We’ve always lived in the woods. Of course, back in the day, woods stretched for acres. Now they’re confined to a small patch surrounded by manicured lawns and asphalt.
Few venture here. They linger along the outskirts and peer into the cool depths beneath the leafy canopy, as though they fear once they enter, they’ll never return to their civilization.
We wait here, sneering at their brash attempts to confine us. We bide our time.
Soon, they’ll become negligent groundskeepers, and with quiet tenacity, we’ll reclaim land, break through turf, swallow structures.
We will outlast, as always.
So They Say So by D. Avery
“G’day Pal. Where’s Kid?”
“Hmmph. I ain’t too sure. Still tentin’ I reckon. Complained last week about yeller tents and then takes off fer the woods totin’ one.”
“Look here, Pal, a note. It says, ‘See ya later Pal. Shorty says I am to appear in the woods.’ Seems Kid has misread the prompt again.”
“’Appears so Aussie. Dang!”
“What’s wrong, Pal? Kid does just fine in the woods.”
“Normally, yeah, but who knows what these ranch hands is gonna put inta the woods with this prompt. Why, they even say there’s a Bigfoot out and about.”
“Oh, I hope Kid doesn’t come across Bigfoot!”
“Me too, Aussie, poor Bigfoot doesn’t deserve that. Hey, do you feel like we’re bein’ watched or somethin’?”
“Yes, I do, Pal. Why, who is that peering from the woods there? Kid!”
“Aussie! Pal! I’m back.”
“We kin see that. Where ya bin?”
“I been appearin’ in woods all over. Went west. It was wild. Saw fossils an’ artsy facts an’ muse-icians.”
“You call that campin’?”
“Call it vacationin’. Guess who I spied peerin’ from the woods when I was tentin’?”
“Frannie Hooe. Least they say it was her.”