Friday, August 7, 2020

Mick and Jane on the Moon — Five

The horse swayed from side to side as it slowly made it way through the long corridor. After the wagon passed the second subterranean passageway, Mick and Ted asked each other when they should take a turn. They weren't sure. "Two more," said the girl. They moved on and upon reaching the second corner the two boys pulled on the rein. Instantly, the horse sped up.

"Where do you think the well is?" asked Ted. "I'm scared. The horse is going too fast."

They all screamed as the horse raced down the passageway. Then suddenly it stopped at the well, and lapped the moonshine.

The three, shaking, got out of the wagon. Ted said he would go up first, then haul the bucket up as his sister clung to the rope. On her turn, she put a foot in the bucket and held on. Ted slowed drew her up. Meanwhile, Mick, who was overcome with thirst, got down on his knees; and with his hand, drank a little before he choked and spat it out. He gasped. His mouth and throat burned. His head reeled. Ted called for him to come up. Mick, choking, crawled to the lowered bucket. He held on to the rope, and called to Ted to pull.

"You can't climb up?"

"I — I, try." Mick made an effort.

"Do you want me to go back down, and help you?"

"Poll m'up?"

"Hold on to the rope. I will get you up." Ted tugged on the crank, and after a long struggle had Mick up. Mick fell to his knees. "What happened?" Ted asked.

"Da warra."

Eventually, they got to the tree, and heard laughter coming out of it.

"Have another apple, Snaky."

"I'll get a belly ache."

"You didn't have more than ten apples."

"How many? I can count only to one, and the next."

"Oh, am I your one girlfriend or your next?"

"That's an easy one to answer. You are the one."

They both laughed.

Mick asked Ted to call his sister. Ted asked, "What's her name?"


"John?", Ted asked; but quickly called. There was silence in the tree. "John! John!" he called out again.

From the tree came Jane's voice: "My name isn't John. It's Jane. What is my brother doing? Is he making believe he's a dog? Oh! it's getting dark over there. I have to get home before dark."

Snaky said, "It's already dark in America. It's getting near midnight there."

"But...but it was a bright afternoon!"

"I with my beady eyes, saw America slip into night long ago."

"Oh, how long ago?"

"The next one."

Jane jumped out of the tree, saying bye to Snaky.

When Jane explained that it was night where they lived, Ted said he would rush down and tell their parents, and get word to the other parents that the others were coming. He was off and running.

The remaining three walked slowly on account of Mick.

"Can't you go faster?" Jane asked.


"Well, at least since you're down, you'll be able to tie my shoes."

The end.

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