There was a day when my brother and I were hiking around the old man’s land. We were exploring a lot, a lot more than we had ever done before. My father was working and had a big job to do, so my brother and I decided that it would be more fun to go hiking than to help him. We both knew why we were there anyway. It wasn’t a big deal. We were there just to keep my father company. Not that my father got lonely or anything, it’s just that my mother worried about him. Worried about him, especially when he would go deep into the woods with his big machines. My mother thought that anything could happen out there and that if we were there, we could go find someone to help if necessary. I’ll tell you that nothing ever happened to my father besides him getting hungry every once in a while. That may have also been why he wanted my brother and me to be around while he was working. Probably just to go get him something to eat.
Now, on this day I’m going to tell you about, my father didn’t eat. He didn’t eat that day because neither my brother nor I were around. We took off and ran away from my father early. We ran far away so that he wouldn’t be able to find us. We wouldn’t be able to hear him yelling because we ran so far away. And that made us feel better. It’s always better to not be able to hear your father yelling for you than it is to hear him and ignore him. If you ignore your father when he yells for you in the woods, you really have the potential to feel guilty about that.
Anyway, since we were so far away and alone in the woods, my brother said that he wanted to explore the whole back of the old man’s land. He said that he wanted to walk all the away around the land to find the markers that told the old man where his land stopped and where someone else’s began. I’m not sure the old man cared. His land was huge and I’m pretty sure the old man didn’t care where his land ended and someone else’s began. The exact spot, that is. Now, my brother on the other hand did care. He always cared about these things and that’s what made him a good guide that day.
I was never sure how we were going to find the markers. Since the land was so big, I wondered how we would even begin a task like that. I was worried. I was actually worried after my brother told me what we were going to do. Now, my brother wasn’t worried. He wasn’t worried at all because it seemed like he had already devised a plan – something that would tell him where to start and something that would tell him where to stop. You know, thinking of this whole finding the marker thing today makes me smile because I know for a fact my brother still does this stuff. He still does it right now in this very day and age. I know it because he told me he does – he told me not more than just a few days ago.
Anyway, I really shouldn’t have worried that day for two good reasons. The first reason was that I wasn’t in charge of the whole operation – my brother was. The second reason was because of what I’ve told you probably about a thousand times now. My brother was smart, really smart.
The way he started out our expedition was like this – we would find the side of the old man’s land. That’s right, we would find the side of it. We wouldn’t walk straight back to look for the back border. That was too far. Since we knew where the side of the land already was, we would just find that and then follow the markers all the way to the back of the land. My brother seemed to be quite confident. “This is really going to work,” he said.
So that’s what we did. We found some old markers on the side of the old man’s land. And then we followed those markers all the way back, all the way back – so far I swear we went miles. It actually took us half the day. I’ll admit that I started to worry on our trip to the back of the land. It wasn’t an easy hike through the woods, and I even stopped once and asked my brother for confirmation that there was an end in sight. He assured me there was. He said that there had to be. There had to be because the land couldn’t go all the way to China. So I believe him and we kept walking.
On our way to the back of the land, we found quite a few markers. We found so many that it was kind of like an Easter egg hunt. Actually, I really should clarify here – my brother found all the markers. I didn’t find any. I didn’t find any markers because I was in charge of the tail end of the expedition. That’s what my brother told me. My job was to make sure that everything was okay behind the leader, and he was the leader so that’s what, by definition, gave me the job of being in charge of the back. Oddly enough though, by keeping everything okay in the back, I never got to find any of the markers like my brother did.
And I’ll tell you that he found markers. He found a whole big variety of them all the way up the side of the property, all the way across the back of the property and all the way back down the other side of the property. Well, almost all the way down the side of the property.
Remember when I told you that the trip took half the day? Well, that was only half the story too, because the hike we took that day consumed almost the whole entire day. The first half took us only to the back of the land, the second half of the day took us back to the front. Well, almost to the front, like I just said.
On our way back, and almost at the end of the day, and to the front of the land, we heard my father yelling. My father was yelling so loud right then – he was yelling both of our names. I could hear him clearly because by the time he was in shouting distance, we were almost back at the big dirt parking lot that the old man had his tenants park. The woods were thicker in that area too, they were thicker because the trees were shorter and the sun was able to shine in. By getting all that sun, the woods grew a lot of underbrush, so much so that it was almost impossible to walk.
When we got to the point of almost being in the dirt parking lot and when we heard my father yelling for us, my brother thought that it would be a good idea to cut our hike short. He turned around and said, “We aren’t going any farther.” Now, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you. I’m going to tell you the truth and tell you that I was disappointed – really disappointed in not finishing our goal of finding every single marker around the old man’s whole entire property. It was disappointing, but since my father sounded mad, my brother thought that it would be a better idea to cut right across that last piece of land so we would end up in the dirt parking lot. From there, we would be able to run across and down the dirt road my father was making with his big machines. If we did that and got there fast enough, maybe my father wouldn’t seem so mad anymore.