The Trouble With Bernie

Crisis on Peabody Creek -1

Bernie tightened up the laces on his tennis shoes, jostled his backpack around ‘til it rested just so on his shoulders, and was off to meet up with Joey Wondermore and Alex. The three boys had gotten permission from their parents, to pack a lunch and hike along Peabody Creek, all the way to town. It was only a mile and a half, but it was pretty rough going. They’d never been allowed to make the trip before, but since Joey was twelve, all the parents finally agreed it was okay. Bernie squinted up at the sky, and he knew beyond a doubt ... this was going to be a day he’d never forget.

In front of Appleby’s house Alex was bouncing his basketball, staring down at the sidewalk, concentrating on getting the ball to bounce to precisely the same height each time. When he saw Bernie he tossed the ball over his shoulder into the yard and ambled down the street.

Bernie greeted him with a huge smile. “Great day for a hike, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” said Alex, who had a secret fear about the day’s adventure.

“I wish we were hiking a whole lot further,” said Bernie. “A mile and a half, that’s not far. We could do that in our sleep.”

Alex scrunched his mouth up. “Uhmmm, there’s somethin’ I gotta ask you Bern. Do you think there might be any bobcats or cougars in the woods?”

”Nnnnn I don’t think so,” said Bernie. “But maybe we’ll get lucky and see one.”

Alex, who knew Bernie was not making fun of him, said, “Yeah, maybe we’ll get to see one. That’d be great.”

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