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    Ch. 44 The Wisdom of the Wise
Submitted by Raymond L. Step... on 27 February 2007 - 2:10pm. | | | |

“Cayce, Cayce, help me!”

Cayce could see his friend tearing down the road toward him. McConnell was yelling at the top of his lungs, arms flailing as if trying to swim through the hot, high desert air. His right hand kept dropping down to tug back up his sagging sweat pants.

“Quick, Cayce, you’ve got to hide me. My sisters are going to make me do the dishes. I’d die before I let them make me do a girl’s job.”

“Calm down, Mac, you’re working yourself into a rash.” Although nearly a year younger, Cayce was a full fifteen inches taller than his best friend. Where do you want to hide, in the hut we made in the plum bushes?”

Mac mopped his sweat-streaked face with his grimy red T-shirt. He looked up at Cayce with a hurt look. “Are you trying to get me dish-pan hands? You know the first place they always look for me is at your house. Cayce! They’re going to make me do the dishes!”

“Hey, I know. Dad told me of a place. It’s called Little Grand Canyon. It’s up in the foothills. Your sisters won’t come up there. There’s lizards, snakes, mice, dirt and all sorts of things to scare girls.”

“Yeah, Cayce, that sounds perfect. Hurry, let’s go.”

“We’ve got to follow the old dry ditch bed, so we don’t get lost. Dad said Little Grand is about four miles up. Your sisters will never be able to get that far. We have to go through a place Dad called the swimming hole.” Cayce thought Mac’s sisters, and all girls were scared of things like that.

Cayce glanced back, Mac’s legs were almost a blur as he tried to keep up to his own longer stride. The two blocks to the ditch bank seemed like a mile. They climbed the steep bank and were about to drop down into the deep bed.

“McConnell!” bellowed two loud voices. The sisters were hot on their trail.

Cayce was amazed at the power of those short legs as they reacted to the yell from below. They propelled his friend almost completely over the stream bed. Mac scraped his knee on a big rock and landed headfirst in a huge green sagebrush. Cayce watched helplessly as his friend immediately broke out in a fit of sneezing. The dusty aromatic scent of the sage was overpowering.

“Come on, Mac. We’ve got to out-run them now,” said Cayce.

He helped Mac back out of the brush. Cayce could see that Mac was bleeding slightly from a dozen brush scratches, and limping noticeably.

“Hey, Cayce, slow down. I don’t want to lose sight of you.” Cayce paled as Mac’s pleading voice triggered guilt in him.

“I’ll check on your sisters while you catch up.” Cayce was amazed. Girls shouldn’t be able to run so fast. “Mac, we can’t outrun them. They’re too fast! They have already reached the ditch bank!”

“Yeow! They’ll grab me by the toes and drag me all the way home. I’ll be dead by the time they get me there.” Mac was so intent on looking back for his sisters to come into view, he didn’t see the big pile of dead cedars. Cayce had to cover his eyes as Mac ran headlong into them. Now Mac was covered with more scratches and cuts. There was blood showing on both arms, and all over his face.

Cayce thought that even Mac’s sisters would feel sorry for him if they could see him now.

“Mac, do you think we should go back?” He looked at his friend, who was sweat-streaked, dirty, bloody, with one leg of his old sweats torn completely off. Cayce was really worried that his friend couldn’t keep up this pace.

“Cayce, get down here in the ditch. What are you waiting for? They’re not going to get me this time.”

“You’ve said that before, Mac.” A familiar determined scowl formed on Mac’s face. Cayce had to pinch himself not to show a grin.

“How far do we have to go?” McConnell now had a worried look on his face.

Cayce pointed far ahead at some big trees . “Those trees are where the swimming hole used to be. Little Grand is about three times that far.” Cayce was sure of the directions his dad had given him.

“Way over there?” Mac’s voice had become hushed. “And we have to cross that big open space? Oh boy, I’m dead.” He could hear the girls closing in on them now. He sat down and rested his elbows on his knees, his chin in his hands.

“Cayce! Look!” Mac gestured at the base of a huge squaw-berry bush. A large yellow and black blow snake was stretched out, sunning itself in the warmth. “My sisters won’t dare go close to that. We can hide around on the other side until they go by.”

“Okay, we better hurry,” said Cayce. Quickly they scampered around the thick bush.

It was only a matter of seconds until they heard the girls go huffing and puffing by. “Hurry up Larcy. We’re going to lose them. I’ll teach that lazy little rascal to run from us,” Cayce could see Mac shudder at the sound of Kate’s voice.

“He’ll do dishes every day for a week,” declared Larcy.

Cayce could feel Mac’s fist tighten on his arm as their pursuers raced by. To his total amazement, they glanced at the snake, but paid no other attention to it, even though Kate’s foot came within inches of the head. Weren’t the girls afraid of the snake? Then Cayce had another thought. Maybe girls weren’t so different after all. Maybe doing dishes wasn’t just a girl’s job.

Cayce offered Mac a possible solution. “Let them get out of sight, then we’ll double back. Maybe you’ll have time to finish the dishes by the time they return.”

This time the scowl that rolled over Mac’s face could have curdled milk. “I guess so. It would be better than having my toes pulled off.”

Shoulders drooping, the two friends headed back to
town. Cayce put his long arm around Mac’s shoulders. “I’ll help you with the dishes.”

A bright smile returned to Mac’s face.

The dishes were quickly finished. “That really wasn’t too bad,” said Mac. “It sure beat being dragged by my toes. But all these scratches sure burned in the dishwater. Hey, here come my sisters. They sure are sweaty and dirty. Let’s get in front of the TV and pretend we’ve been here all the time.”

“Yeah,” said Cayce, “let’s see how long it takes them to notice the dishes. It must have been someone else they’ve been chasing, huh? Hey, look, Kate’s got that snake around her wrist like a bracelet. She’s awesome. I didn’t know girls could be like boys.”

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I love the adventure and the

I love the adventure and the fun. Great Story. The only spelling error noted is: “That really wasn’t oo bad,” said Mac (too)

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Thanks Margaret, I

Thanks Margaret, I appreciate your comments. Ray

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