The Trouble With Bernie

Crisis on Peabody Creek- 3

To keep from thinking about his fear of wild animals, Alex asks Joey to tell them a story. Joey begins telling a true Antarctica survival story but it's not quite enough to calm Alex's fears. What else could he do?

... The three boys had reached a part of the creek where the lower limbs of some of the maple trees extended quite a way out into the water. In some places they could step over them, but finally they had to climb the bank and search for the trail through the woods.

Alex immediately grew uncomfortable. Because his parents owned the local theater, he’d seen the movie “Demon Versus Dracula” six times, and the demon had been a bobcat, a wild, screaming creature with fangs and claws the size of butcher knives. Clark Olsen and the other big boys had started a rumor that a similar kind of wildcat lived down in Peabody Gulch.

Ordinarily, Alex would just laugh at such a dumb idea, but now that they were here, deep down in the ravine, even just an ordinary bobcat, or a cougar, which occasionally did come down from the mountains, was more than he wanted to see.

So he started singing, “A horse is a horse of course of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course ...” So intent was Alex on making noise, lots of loud noise, that he walked right into the back of Joey Wondermore, who had come to a standstill in front of him.

“I hate that song!” said Joey. “Every time I hear it, it gets stuck in my head and it won’t go away!”

“Sorry,” said Alex. “I hate it too, but ... I just felt like singing.”

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Katie's drawing of Alex's fear
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