The girls hauled their gear, piece by piece, up the wooden ladder to the hayloft. They were beginning to wish they hadn’t brought so much stuff, but Pickles father had insisted on it. “The tent,” he said, “might prove to be a necessity.”
They laid out their sleeping bags, and set up their battery operated lamp on the small cooler Emma had given them packed full of goodies. They giggled and talked about the day, avoiding any mention of their grandparents memories failing. “Let’s tell ghost stories!” suggested Pickles.
They turned out the light. The night was anything but still. Spring Peepers were singing, Bullfrogs croaking, and other critters of the night were holding conversations loud enough to wake the dead. Off in the distance they could hear screech owls hooting along the river beyond the woods. Each girl held up a flashlight under her chin as she told her story. They told stories long into the night, till they eventually fell asleep.
“SCREEEECH!!! SCREEEEECH!!!” came a loud call above them. Both girls bolted straight up. A thud hit Piper’s sleeping bag. “OUCH” cried Piper. A tiny squeal, and the weight was gone.
“What happened?” cried Pickles. “Are you ok?”
“Something grabbed my leg. I think it was the owl.”
“GRABBED YOUR LEG?”
“Not bad. I think it just scared me more than anything.” Piper reached inside her sleeping bag and rubbed her leg. It was wet. “Oh my gosh! I’m bleeding!” she cried.
Pickles grabbed the first aid kit, as Piper crawled out of her bag. Piper grabbed a water bottle and washed off the light scrapes on her leg. Pickles followed up with alcohol swabs. Piper let out a yell. “Sorry, but we don’t want it infected.” They waited till it dried, added a trible-antibiotic ointment, and covered her leg with gauze.
The girls were so wrapped up in Piper’s wound that they didn’t notice the dozens of mice roaming around the loft. Neither of them wanted to go back to sleep for fear something else might happen.
“I don’t want to sleep up here anymore,” said Piper.
“It’s too late to go to the McFaddens. I know they wouldn’t mind, I just don’t want to wake them,” replied Pickles.
“Wanna set up the tent?”
“Sounds good to me.”
The girls carefully dropped their gear down on some hay that lay on the barn floor, then carefully climbed down the ladder.