A Llama Tale - Adventure's of a 12 year old girl and her llama, Moche
It was like a parade. The Rendezvous was in a large meadow where there were a lot of people camping. Their tents and campfires were around the edge of the meadow by the woods. We had crossed the river at Harrington's Ford the day before and then traveled a distance before we made an early camp for the night. Then part of this morning was spent brushing all of the llamas so they would look nice and cleaning the packs down so there wasn't so much trail dust on them. Then we started out. It was early afternoon when we broke into the clearing and there were folks all around the meadow. Everyone just stopped and stared. Some people talked among themselves but the whole area became really quiet as we trooped out of the forest and across the meadow to a large log cabin that was on the far side. Noah walked up at the front with Grandfather. Grandfather still led the nine male llamas. Then came Mom with the seven female llamas. Moche and I were last. Max and Olin each walked along one side. Every now and then a dog would be curious or come running up barking. Max or Olin would just turn and face those dogs and they would back away. As we approached the log cabin, Grandfather greeted a man that was standing on the steps, "Good afternoon John, this fair is getting bigger every time I come."
John Harrington was a middle-aged man, slightly plump and he had a nice warm smile. Mom had explained to me earlier that his last name wasn't really Harrington but that everyone who had the store near this ford for the last two hundred years had taken that name out of respect for the first people that had settled there. Those original Harrington=s had helped people as they moved into this wilderness. John shook Grandfather's hand and said, "Randy Perch said you'd be coming this year Eric. A lot of the newer people have just about decided that you and your llamas are just a story we old-timers tell. I'll tell you, there sure are a lot of surprised people out in that meadow right now." Then he laughed so hard he sort of sounded like a donkey. He really seemed like a nice man.
Grandfather smiled and said, "I'm afraid that surprised people usually become over curious after the shock wears off. Do you think we could use that little clearing up behind the store so we'll have some control over the number of visitors at any one time?"
"Already thought of that Eric. The clearing is all ready for you. Dawn, both Beth and I want you to know how sorry we are about Dave's death." Beth was John's wife. She had been standing behind him on the steps but now she went over and hugged Mom.
"And who's this?" John had turned to me and Moche. He had a big smile with a real twinkle in his eye.
"I'm Sandy and this is Moche."
I think John knew Beth and my Mom would start crying if there wasn't some diversion so I decided to help. Moche had his halter and lead on, so I brought him up in front of the steps and had him kush for John. Kush is a command that Annie had taught to me and Moche. I would say "kush" and Moche would lie down. It has a lot of practical applications on the trail - all of Grandfather's llamas would kush on command. A big crowd had gathered around us and everybody clapped their hands. Mom and Beth both smiled and then they laughed.
Grandfather said, "We better get going or there'll be two hundred people standing in line to pet the llamas."
We circled the large log cabin that was John and Beth's home and also their store. In the back, up a little trail through some trees was a small clearing with a pond on one side. The whole area was surrounded by a dense thicket, so there was essentially only one way in or out. At least that's how it appeared to me when I first saw it. Mom ran a single rope around the periphery of the clearing and we let all the llamas loose to graze. Some just went over by the pond to rest. It was a very pleasant place, with lots of sunlight, fresh water and a nice breeze that brought odors and sounds from the people below.
People came all afternoon. Only a few at a time but as soon as one group left another would show up. Grandfather and Mom knew everyone; men would shake Grandfather's hand and the women would hug Mom. Some of the women would cry. Everyone was nice to me but the conversations were all adult talk and I finally got restless.
Mom noticed, "Sandy, why don't you take a walk down into the camp and see what's going on."
"Sure, I know this isn't very interesting for you but these are all people who have known Eric for years."
"Can I take Moche too?"
"There'll be a lot of curious people today, I'm afraid Moche might get a little scared. Why don't you put a halter and lead on Noah and take him. He's very experienced in crowds and he's been to this Rendezvous more times than me. At least, when I think about it, it seems that way."
"That'll be neat!"
I went to get Noah. He was more than willing to go for a walk. I haltered him and grabbed a lead. Then we headed down the path that came out behind the large log cabin. There was a roofed porch on three sides of the cabin and Beth was sitting on the side nearest the path.
She waved to me, "Hi Sandy, are you and Noah going for a walk?"
"Yes, Mrs. Harrington."
"Oh, call me Beth. Can I walk with you?"
Beth came over and pet Noah on his neck. She was a pretty lady with long blond hair that hung loose around her shoulders. She was wearing a nice cotton print dress that was simple and practical but at the same time very attractive. I had only been at Grandfather's for a few months but store clothes looked different now. There was nothing crude at all about Annie's elk skin pants or our wool shirts and Mom's gray wool cloak would have been fashionable anywhere. Store clothes were warm and comfortable but they just didn't look durable to me anymore. One thing I was going to learn this winter for sure was how to make elk skin jeans.
As we walked along, Beth was saying, "There're lots of families here with kids of all ages. Most are from the lower slopes where the forest thins out into open meadows that are good for grazing or farming. Most of the newer people start there because the winters are a little more mild and it takes awhile for people to get use to the personality of the deep forest."
"Why do all these people come to the Rendezvous, Beth?"
"Different reasons bring different groups of people. Pretty much it's a time when folks trade what they have a surplus of for other things they'll need during the winter."
"Do you sell a lot when these people all get together like this? It's sort of like going to the Mall at my old home. Mom and Grandpa told me there were lots of people in the forest but I had no idea there were this many. Is this everybody or are there people that didn't come?"
Beth smiled, "Good questions. Lets see, yes there are a lot of people in the forest in these parts that haven't come this year but over the course of several years almost everyone shows up. That is except for your Grandfather, he stopped coming when Mary died. That was a little over five years ago. It's a good thing for the whole wilderness if you and your Mom are able to get Eric out and seeing some of us."
"I think my Grandpa's a hermit."
Beth laughed, "No, I think you'll see he's just too content with the solitude of his mountain and the pleasant company that these llamas give to a person."
"Do you sell a lot of stuff during the Rendezvous?"
"Yes, to a degree. But it's much more a regional event than a sales gimmick. Some people raise certain kinds of animals while others have crops that they've harvested either from their farms or the forest. Still others might keep bees and have honey to trade. All that kind of trading is between individuals. John and I provide the location and sponsor some events during the week." As we walked Beth would smile and say "Hi" to everyone as we passed.
Many people would come out from their campsites to see Noah and talk with us. Mom was right about taking Noah. We'd be surrounded on all sides by curious people. Noah would let people approach and pet him but if the crowd seemed to push in too tight, he would turn to sniff someone on one side and then turn to the other direction to sniff another. He was always most interested and most gentle with small children and babies.
I said to Beth, "I'm sure glad I brought Noah. He really seems to like the people and he handles the crowds so well. It's almost like he's done this before."
"Oh, he has Sandy. Noah would always come with Eric and Mary in the old days. I don't think they traveled anywhere without Noah and they traveled all over the
Divide in those days." Beth was slowly working us toward a path that led into the forest.
"More stories that I haven't ever heard. It seems that I got here too late to know Grandmother or be involved in all the important things that happened."
Beth laughed, "It is a shame that you won't have the privilege to know Mary but important things just seem to keep happening in life. I think you'll have your fair share of adventure."
"Why do some people wear store clothes and others homemade ones like Grandfather's?"
"There are four different groups of people here. One group comes from the lower plateau that's pretty close to the national parks and some of the towns that are near them. Those people are forest folk but they live much closer to the outside world than the rest of us."
"You're wearing a store dress, does that mean we're close to a town or a city here?"
Beth laughed again, "During the Rendezvous, I'll wear a nice dress or two but not for the rest of the year. John and I live like many of the forest folk. The only difference is that we keep a store too. Most of the goods we sell make life a little nicer for the people who live in the forest. We wear elk skin and wool most of the time but I think you=ll find it's also nice to put a dress on every now and then. The nearest town, the way you think of a town, is a little over sixty miles and I'd say it's about twice that to the nearest city."
"You don't mind if I ask questions do you?"
Beth smiled, "No Sandy, your Grandparents have been wonderful to John and I over the years. Your Mom and I are the best of friends. We=d travel to see each other regularly until she and your Dad moved out to the coast. I don't know your whole story but I realize that youre world has changed quite quickly. Ask away."
"Who else is here? I mean who are the other groups of people?"
"Well there's quite a few folks from the deep forest and a very few that live on the high meadows of the Divide like you and your Grandfather. The people from the lower plateau, the ones with the store clothes, have farms and ranches but identify with the forest people for one reason or another. The forest folk are hunter-gathers who move around during the spring and summer but then return to home camps for the autumn and winter months. I think you know Jack and Annie Perch, they're forest folk. The forest people were considered squatters by the federal and state governments until Eric and Mary came along about twenty-five years ago."
"What did they do?"
"Eric and Mary united the various peoples that make the forests along the Divide their home. Mary went to the federal and various state governments to argue that the resources of the vast unsettled areas are actually preserved by people who have chosen to live in harmony with the natural order of what urban people refer to as wilderness."
"What good did that do?"
"Well for one thing it inspired other people in the governments to lobby for property grants. Before that time, there were families that had lived generation after generation in certain areas for two or three hundred years but they still had no legal right to be there."
"Did my Grandma get the property grants for everyone?"
"Yes, there's a special understanding with our federal government, Canada and Mexico. Wilderness people have legal claims to their home camps and they're permitted to move between the boarders with a certain degree of freedom if the areas involved represent traditional locations that they use at certain seasons of the year."
"Don't people fight over using the same area at the same time?" I know where we lived before, the neighbors were always fighting over silly things like where their lawns end.
"Your Grandfather was a famous man, even in those days. One of the things he did with Mary was to see that a special judicial system was set up for the wilderness people."
"What does the judicial system do?"
"It's sort of like a portable legal system. It allows people to record claims, register home camp sites, get married and resolve legal problems with neighbors. It's also the way resources within the wilderness are managed. Most people that live out here don't pay taxes because they don't have or use money. So everyone has an assigned job that helps protect the wilderness and preserve it for the whole country and future generations. Once a year you check in to report on how things are going and to see if there's something more to do. Almost everyone participates. It works out very well for everyone involved and it's very simple."
"My Grandmother and Grandfather did all that?"
"Mmmmmm. That all happened when John and I first came to the wilderness. Eric brought us to this place and helped set the store up. He even developed the concept of the Rendezvous. Everyone takes care of their trading and legal business once a year. It's a nice time to visit with old friends too. Lots of young people meet here during the Rendezvous and end up getting married years later. But that's probably not something you're thinking about at your age, is it?"
"No, I want to have some adventures."
"Oh. You can't have adventures if boys are around?"
"No, they're all pretty dumb. I like my Dad, or did, and I like Grandpa and Jack. John is nice too."
We had escaped the crowds of people and were walking along a broad path into the woods. After about a quarter of a mile and a few turns the path opened up into a small meadow. There were several families camped here and lots of horses. No not horses, mules. They were long eared mules with sleek shiny red coats and long horse tails.
The mules all became alert when they saw Noah. Their ears would pick up and the closer ones would reach their heads over to sniff at us. People were coming over now. Men with long beards and buckskin jackets, ladies in pretty wool dresses and kids of all sizes in a patchwork mixture of clothes from jeans to fur vests, that were made like mine.
Beth said, "This is Sandy Stanford, Eric Stanford's granddaughter. She's brought Noah with her to visit and say Hi."
Everyone in this group was really very nice. They didn't crowd in like the other people. They'd approach one or two at a time from the front of Noah and stroke his neck. They'd all let him sniff their hand or arm before they'd pet his neck. Some of the adult people knew Noah from other years when he would come with my Grandpa and Grandmother. They'd ask him about his trip or other animals they had known him to travel with. You could tell they liked Noah and he really liked them.
One large man with a gray beard said, "I remember Noah, it's been some years but he looks like he's weathering them as well or better than me. Is he your llama now, Miss?"
I said, "Oh no, Noah is my Grandfather's llama, we're just out for a walk today."
The man seemed pleased with my answer. He called a boy about my age over and said, "This is my grandson, Jim. Why don't you two walk over and see the mules with Noah. The rest of us will just visit with Beth for a few minutes."
"Ok. Hi, I'm Sandy." I stuck my hand out to shake his but he just stood there looking at the ground.
"Hi." Jim was like most boys my age - dumb. But he was nice and we talked about Noah and his mules as we walked.
Beth smiled and said, "I don't know Paul, girls and boys at that age are just as likely to end up in a fist fight as have a conversation." Paul's wife nodded in agreement and all the ladies had a good laugh.
Paul LaBois was the recognized leader of this group. They were people of the deep woods that raised and trained mules. They would travel and sell their stock as far as two hundred miles to the east and over the western side of the Divide. Mules are sterile animals that are produced by breeding a female horse to a male donkey. Mules are strong, agile and smart. They make excellent pack and riding animals in the mountains.
Paul said to Beth, "Connie told us that Dawn and her little girl here might have some trouble coming their way."
Beth was serious now, "Yes, that's what Eric told John."
"Well tell him we're ready to help if he needs any assistance in any way."
"I will Paul. We'd all help and I know he'll appreciate your offer. Thank you. I'm just pretty sure that Eric will handle this in his own way. Maybe he'll bring the Rangers in, I don't know. I do know he's very protective of the forest people and the whole concept of the Rendezvous. I doubt if most of the people here ever will know about what is about to happen. I'm a little scared myself but at the same
time this is Eric Stanford. I guess that's as solid a thought as the mountain I'm standing on." Beth smiled and shook her shoulders a little. Connie was Paul's wife, she hugged Beth and told her it'd be ok.
Paul had the habit of holding the end of his long beard when he thought, "If I know Eric, your right, he'll be reluctant to involve others in what he considers to be his problem. Tell him, I'd suggest they head for Randy Perch's mountain. Randy will be the solution for whatever this trouble is. If we don't hear from Eric today, we'll go cover the eastern ridge until something happens. We'll be able to move quickly to wherever we're needed from that vantage point. Tell him good luck."
All this time, Jim and I had been looking at the mules. Jim was nice but very shy. He really loved his mules though and was telling me all their names and explaining why each one was special.
The adults were mostly still talking with Beth. All of the other kids had run off in different directions to play or to do their chores. Some of the women had started to take down cooking tripods and gather odd things that were just hanging around the campsites. If I didn't know better I'd have thought that they were going to strike their camp and start traveling .
Jim was saying, "Yep, mules are special animals. They have the endurance of a donkey, strength of a horse and they're smarter than either one. My Pa and Grandpa breed these short legged mountain mules for people on both sides of the Divide. That's what I'm going to do when I grow up. Do you want to see my mule, Josie?"
"Sure, can Noah come?"
"Of course, llamas are nice animals."
Josie was a younger mule but that same shiny red color as all the rest. Jim put a halter on Josie and then we walked over to a training area that had jumps set up like the ones Moche and I practiced on with Annie. Only these jumps were higher - almost four feet high.
"Watch Josie do his daily practice, Sandy."
Jim didn't ride Josie. The mule had a halter on but there was no lead. Josie would sail over the different jumps and then stop and wait for a new command from Jim. All of Jim's commands were hand signals.
"Wow! That's neat. Did your Dad teach you that, Jim?"
"No, he trains our mules for packing. A nice lady named Annie taught me and Josie how to work together."
"You know Annie Perch?"
"Sure. Her and Jack spent last winter with us. Pa had broken his leg and Jack helped Grandpa with the mules."
Boy was I excited. I told Jim all about Moche and how Annie had started our training. We were both talking a lot when Beth came over to get me, so we could go back.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Jim." Jim told me he'd set the jumps lower and we'd practice together. Him with Josie and me with Moche.
Beth and I were walking back through the path in the trees. The sun was getting lower and it would be dark soon.
"Who else is here Beth?"
"Who?" She seemed to be deep in her own thoughts.
"You said there were four groups of people. I know about the forest people and the ranchers from the lower plateau. Who are the other two groups? Are they in clearings like the LaBois were?"
Beth smiled and put her hand on my shoulder as we walked, "Oh! Yes. There are quite a few nice meadows that certain groups use because they prefer to stay off
by themselves. Some of the most wonderful people here are Native Americans. Think of a culture with a basic foundation that's thirty thousand years old. Your Grandfather is very good friends with many of these people so you're really going to get to know some fine individuals. Then there are always a few miners and trappers in the furthest clearing. Some of them are ok and some are not so ok. When you run a big time social like this you have to take everyone that comes along so long as they behave themselves."
When Noah and I got back to camp a lot had happened. The female llamas were all gone as well as two of the male llamas from the pack string. Mocca was gone. He was a large brown llama that was good natured and I talked to him a lot when we were camped. Jonnie was gone too. He was a white appaloosa with big black spots. They were all on their way to a new home. John and Grandfather were putting supplies in our packs and then weighing them to make sure the paired packs would be balanced on the llamas. They were packing kerosene in thin two gallon containers, salt in five pound packages and lots of honeycomb. Grandfather loved honey. There were also small sacks of flower and other things that Mom and Grandfather thought we'd need that winter. The biggest surprise was over by the pond with Moche. Two adult goats, all white, with three little baby goats at their side. Moche was just fascinated.
"Hi Grandpa, hello John. Where's Mom?"
Grandfather said, "She's gone visiting for awhile. I'm afraid you missed our friend, Joseph Three-feathers. He had to leave early and he's taking our llamas to their new homes."
"He left so close to dark?" I felt really bad that I missed them leave. Especially Mocca, I didn't know he was leaving with the females and he had been my friend. I'd spent a lot time with him back in the llama valley. One of the rules was not to travel in the dark. I didn't even say good-by. It was just like with Dad, I didn't even say good-by to him.
"Why'd they have to leave so close to dark?"
Grandfather came over and patted my back, "It's a long way and Joseph knows the forest very well. Joseph is going to do us a very big favor on his way home and he had to leave early to get it done. Mocca and Jonnie went because there's a need for new herd sires where the females are going. I didn't know about that when we left for the Rendezvous. They'll have excellent homes. I'm sorry they had to leave before you got back."
"I'm sorry Grandfather. I just didn't expect Mocca to be gone. I didn't mean to sound angry. Will I ever see him again?"
"I'm sure your Mom, me and you are going to visit Joseph one of these days and you'll see Mocca then. The problem we have now is that we only have seven llamas for the trip home."
I thought and said, "Moche could carry one of the smaller packs." The packs would weigh about 100 pounds on each llama. I knew Moche couldn't carry that much weight but he could carry some of our camp gear or bedrolls.
Grandfather smiled again, "Maybe we will need Moche. Right now lets figure that Noah will carry a pack and if we need Moche too, we'll use him. I'd prefer to leave Moche and you without any extra weight just so you both can move around easy on the outside of the pack sting when we're hiking though the forest."
"We'd be the outriders?" That was the job Noah did to guard the pack string when the dogs were off scouting.
"Yes, Noah will be carrying a pack in the string and your Mother and I will be focused on the other llamas. You and Moche will need to be the outriders. We'll put your bedroll and some food on Moche but I think we want you to be traveling light. Does that sound like a good plan?" Grandfather had that gentle and kind smile he used when he was checking to see if I've learned my lessons correctly.
"Ok, we can do that."
"Good, have you got your knife and compass on you?"
"Well sleep with your vest on tonight and keep them both on you. If we need to move out at night, it'll be important to have them."
"OK, I'll be ready Grandpa and Moche will be too."
I had already released Noah, he did what he always did, he had moved over to one side of Grandfather and waited. Noah always was near Grandfather and always attentive to whatever he might be doing. I went over to see the goats and Grandfather continued his discussion with John. They were packing supplies in the various packs and sorting them so that the packs all weighed about the same.
"Hi Moche! Maybe we'll carry the baby goats on the way home." Moche was just beside himself with the three baby goats. I could tell he really liked them.
The two big goats were mothers. One was quite a bit older than the other but both were obviously milking. It didn't take too long to figure out that two of the little baby goats belonged to the older mother and the third to the younger.
The baby goats were scampering all over, running under the legs of the grazing llamas and jumping up onto the sides of the llamas that were resting. The llamas would sniff at the little goats when they came their way but other than that they didn't seem to notice their antics.
Moche came over to where I had sat down by my pack. I decided to get my blanket out and go to sleep. Moche kushed and I began to fall asleep with my head resting on his side. Grandfather and John were still talking and working by the campfire. I had forgotten to get firewood today. John and Grandfather were discussing something that was happening at a place called Buffalo Flats, but it had been a full day for me and my eyes closed as I listened to Moche breath in and out so regularly that I often thought he seemed like a clock I had had in my bedroom at home that would go tick-tock...tick-tock...tick-tock...tick-tock all night long.
John was talking quietly as they watched the fire, "Three landed Eric, two big transports with personnel and a smaller chopper like the Hueys I flew in China. There's maybe forty men altogether, armed and with good equipment. They've cut off the regular routes out of here in three directions and there's a squad that's swinging to close the trails at Harrington's Ford right now. What would you like us to do? I have at least sixty men I trust camped out here with their families. Maybe another twenty or so that wouldn't really understand what's going on but that could guard the campsites well enough. Would you like us to signal Randy?"
Grandfather poked the fire with a stick, as he thought. He always made small fires that would make the camp cozy but they gave off very little light or smoke outside the immediate area. He smiled at John. He had known John and Beth for so long. He and Mary had been the god- parents for their son and daughter. After David and Dawn, he probably thought of this couple as his closest friends. Not that there weren't lots of others, a lot of them the very men John was saying he could count on. Men and women camping here with their children and grandchildren because it was a proper and safe place to be.
"There's a lot of people here John, who shouldn't have to be worried just because I have a little bit of trouble.
"That's not true, Eric. Even the newer people, now that they know that you're real, will realize the other stories are true and how much they owe you and Mary."
"Still, this is my problem John. I think we'll be ok if I can get us over to Randy Perch at Laurel Mountain."
"That's going to take you right by Buffalo Flats."
Grandfather smiled, "I know old friend, but it's the last direction they'll expect me to run. Besides, they should be a little confused after Joseph Three-Feathers leads them on a merry chase to the mountain sink. They won't trust their thermal and spectrographic scanners after that. At least, not for awhile, I hope."
Mom had just come into the camp with Beth. They sat down by the fire and the discussion continued.
Mom said, "They're here too, Eric. Two of the trappers and one miner - no one else knows. We're lucky that Joseph came up with a plan."
I had opened my eyes a little when I heard Mom's voice. I wasn't listening but I could see that she had her gray wool cloak on. She looked like an elf in the firelight.
Grandfather said, "Yes, Joseph should make all the difference. We're going to leave tonight and try to pass by Buffalo Flats before sunrise."
Mom said, "Perhaps we should let Sandy sleep a couple of hours and then tell her. Are we going to take the goats with us?"
John said, "We can keep them here, but I wouldn't be able to get them up to your mountain before spring."
Grandfather looked deep in thought, "We'll leave the three goat kids with you John. They're old enough to wean. You can keep them or give them to a family that can use them. I think we'll take a chance with the milking does. Sandy is just at that age where calcium will make a big difference in how strong she'll grow."
Mom laughed, "I don't know Eric, three people and nine llamas might just thread their way past Buffalo Flats. But two goats too?"
Grandfather poked the fire again and smiled, "I have a plan if we're detected. Joseph gave me a receiver that his people use to get Central American refugees across the borders. It'll signal if we're picked up by their scanners."
Mom was very serious now, "What'll we do then?"
Grandfather pulled another electronic gadget out of his pocket, "This is a jammer. We won't use it until we're detected. It'll give Sandy and Moche time to get away."
Mom suddenly realized how the plan would work, "To Laurel Mountain, alone?"
"Yes, she can bring Randy and the Rangers back to help us. If we stay behind, I think they'll concentrate their search in the immediate area of Buffalo Flats because she's so young."
Mom was thoughtful, "It's a good plan Eric, but do you think that she can go three days in the wilderness alone?"
Grandfather leaned back, "I'm sure. Moche will give her confidence. He'll be the eyes and ears she hasn't had time to develop yet and she'll keep going to protect him."
Mom stood up, "I agree, it's a good plan. One of these days we're going to get down onto the North Platte basin and thank that Joseph Three-Feathers properly."
Grandfather smiled. He knew that meant a big kiss for Joseph and that was a good thing. Good for Joseph and good that Dawn was getting over David's death.
Grandfather began to get his blanket out now as John and Beth were leaving, "Yes, maybe the year that Sandy goes north with Jack and Annie, I'll get someone to watch the llamas and we'll wander over that way."
Mom said, "I think I'd like that, but I guess we'd better get through this situation first."
Grandfather was under his blanket now, "Yes, we'll get through this ok, Sandy is more than ready to do her part. There are a lot of people over toward the North Platte basin that I haven't seen since Mary passed away. Actually, I never thought that I'd see them again. These last few years I've just been just getting older it seems. Now with you and Sandy here, I find myself looking forward to every day and planning what we should do in the next season."
Mom had her blanket out also and had come over by me and Moche, "It's having a twelve year old girl around that does that for you Eric."
Grandfather stretched and with a big yawn said, "Well we better get a little sleep ourselves. We're all going to have a big adventure for the next few days."
Return to Outline