It was the last Saturday of summer, and Samantha, Nellie, and Kirsten had decided to go on a picnic in the meadow.
“What a wonderful day!” said Nellie.
“Yes,” said Samantha. “How did you find this place Kirsten?”
“I was riding my uncle’s horse, Blackie, and I decided to explore a little.
“I’m glad you did,” Nellie smiled. “It’s lovely here.”“Thanks.”
“I think the clouds are coming over,” said Nellie.
“Oh, no!” said Samantha. “It was so nice when we left home!”
“I know,” said Kirsten, looking sadly at the clouds.
“There’s an ant on your sandwich, Kirsten,” Samantha said, quietly. Kirsten hated the ants around here.
“Aahhh!” she screamed, knocking over her glass. “Where’d it go?!”
“It ran off,” said Samantha.”Now I’ve got nothing to drink, too,” Kirsten sighed.
“There’s a little left in the glass,” grinned Nellie.
“I’m not gonna drink that!” Kirsten laughed. “Well, how about a break from eating? Let’s go into the woods. I didn’t explore them when I was here before.”“Okay,” said Samantha. “How about you, Nellie?”
“No.” Nellie lay down and closed her eyes. “I think I’ll improve my tan for the winter.”“Alright,” said Samantha, getting up. “Let’s go.”
Kirsten stood up and looked at Samantha.
“Come on!” she said, smiling.
The two girls waked toward to forest on the edge of the big field. As they went down the path, quite a way into the wood, the sun came back out.“Nellie ought to be happy,” Kirsten said, scrunching up her eyes at the sun.
“Hey,” said Samantha, “Look at that tree!”
Kirsten turned to look in the direction of Samantha’s pointing finger.
“Wow!” she whispered. “It’s enormous!”“It is.”
“I have to climb that!” cried Kirsten.
“Not in that dress! You’ll probably tear it and then you’ll be in so much trouble!”
“You’re right,” Kirsten sighed sadly. “I guess I’ll have to do it another time.”
They looked around a little more, and the Samantha said:
“Boy, am I hungry! How long have we been in here?”
“I don’t know.” Kirsten looked at the sun through the trees. “I’m starving, actually...Oh, wow! We must’ve been in here over an hour! Poor Nellie’ll be worried about us, or she’ll think we’re ignoring her.”
“Are you sure it’s been that long?! I though it was about twenty minutes. Remember we are facing west now – the path turned.”
“Oh, no! I forgot. We’ve been here closer to two hours, I think. It’s hard to tell exactly.”
“We’d better get back to Nellie!”“Yeah. Come on, let’s go back.”
The girls made their way back to their picnic spot, walking fast. Finally they could see it at the end of the path.
“Nellie’s still lying down,” said Samantha. “She doesn’t seem worried to me.”
“That’s Nellie for you!” she said, and they continued towards the meadow.
Now that they were nearing the field they had slowed down.
“Hey,” said Samantha, “I’m sure there’s something different from when we left.”
“I don’t know. It does seem like it, though. Oh, Nellie’s moved.”
“Of course! That must be it.”
“Wait!” Kirsten yelled suddenly, and started to run. “All the food’s gone!”“What?! Hey! It is!” said Samantha, and she ran after her friend.
“Nellie! Nellie!” The girls shouted as they came to the blanket.
“She’s asleep!” said Kirsten. They walked over to Nellie.“The little rat! She eats all our food and then she takes a nap!”
Nellie sniffed and turned her head to the girls.
“Oh, hi,” she said. “Is something wrong?”
“Is something wrong?!” Kirsten repeated, flopping herself down next to her friend.
“You ate all the food!” said Samantha.
“All of it?” Nellie asked, looking at the empty plates. “Oh, sorry, I guess I did. I was hungry.” She sat up.
“You were hungry?!” asked Kirsten.
“We’re hungry!” said Samantha.
“Well, I’m sorry. You were gone a long time, you know.”
“Yeah, we kind lost track,” said Kirsten.
“Well,” Samantha sighed, “we forgive you. By the way, you have a funny tan.”
Nellie looked down at her legs.
“Oh, no!” she said. “I guess lay funny when I fell asleep.” They all laughed.
“Never mind,” said Kirsten. “I guess we’d better clear up now.”And they all sat down to gather their things