by Schylie La Belle
Crash! I jumped off my bed and ran into Grandma Ann’s room. There was a tree laying across her bed. I looked up and saw a large hole in the roof. The rain was pouring through.
The storm was strong enough to blow over a tree? Or maybe it was the lightening. I looked down at Grandma Ann. Her face looked kind of pinched.
“Grandma Ann, are you alright?” I stepped up to her bed. Grandma Ann turned to look at me. “Betty Sue, I’m stuck. You must get help.”
“But Grandma Ann, I don’t think I should leave you.” It didn’t seem like the right thing to do, you know—leave Grandma Ann all alone. “No, dear,” Grandma Ann continued. “You must go into town and find someone to help get rid of this tree.”
“Ohhhh.” I think I understood. We needed to get the tree out of Grandma Ann’s room so we could fix the roof. I was surprised how much rain was coming in. “Grandma Ann, do you think I should get some buckets to collect the rain? It’s making quite a mess.”
“No, dear. I think you should go find some help.” I nodded. “Alright, I will. Just let me get my shoes on.” I went to my room and pulled on my boots. I grabbed my rain coat and went back to Grandma Ann’s room. “I’ll be back soon, Grandma Ann."
I stepped outside. It was really windy and rainy. Lightning flashed through the sky. We live on the edge of town, you see, so there weren’t any people living nearby.
So I started walking in the direction of the town. I could have rigged up Charlotte, our old mare, but I was too lazy. Besides, Grandma Ann says walking is good for girls.
I walked for awhile, enjoying nature. It was almost morning, you know. But because of the storm, it was still quite dark out, but not too dark that I couldn’t see.
But I wasn’t tired anymore and I just kept walking and looking at the trees and admiring the pretty lightning bolts.
Suddenly, I saw someone laying on the ground in front of me. I thought it was kind of funny to be sleeping outside during a storm. But maybe some people like that.
“Excuse me, little girl, could you help me?” He was awake. “Sure. What do you need help with?” I replied.
“Well, you might notice that this small tree fell on top of me. If you’d be so kind, would you please help me push it off?”
Funny, I hadn’t noticed that there was a tree on him. But I saw it now.
“Sure. Grandma Ann always said I was strong for my age.” “Much obliged,” he replied.
So I pushed the tree with all my strength, and of course, he was helping too. And we got it off. “You didn’t get hurt, did you?” I doubted it, but I wanted to make sure.
He looked funny at me. “Well, I didn’t break any bones, if that’s what you're wondering.”
“How old are you?” I asked him. He laughed. “Very old.” “You don’t look as old as Grandma Ann.” I ought to know. Grandma Ann was really old. “No, I dare say I’m not that old. I’m twenty-five.”
He leaned against a tree and so did I. “You probably shouldn’t sleep outside during a storm.” I advised him. He laughed again. I didn’t know what was so funny. “No, I dare say that’s not a good idea. I was actually looking for my dog. He is afraid of thunder and ran out when I opened the door to get more wood for the fire.” “Oh. That’s too bad.”
“Now, young lady. I’m grateful to you for helping me remove that tree. What can I do to repay you?” Was he offering to pay me? “Well, I don’t really need money. You see, Grandma Ann pays for my clothes and things. Oh—I forgot about her. Grandma Ann was sleeping, you know, and a tree fell on our house and actually fell on her bed.
So she thought maybe I could go into town and find someone to come get it out, you know, so we can fix the roof. It’s getting awfully wet in her room.” “I’d be happy to come help, if you can lead the way.” He seemed quite in a hurry.
“Sure, this way.” I lead him back to the house and into Grandma Ann’s room. She was still lying in bed. “There, you see, that’s the tree.” He quickly tried to lift it. It was very heavy.
“Do you have an axe?” He asked me. I told him we had enough firewood to last us for awhile, but he still wanted the axe. So I went outside and brought it in. Then he started chopping up the tree.
“You’re actually making quite a mess,” I told him. But he didn’t seem to care. It took awhile, but eventually, he had chopped up the whole tree. He helped Grandma Ann out of bed and carried her into the living room and laid her on the couch.
I walked over to her. “How are you, Grandma Ann? Did you sleep well? I know it was loud, with the wood chopping and all.” Grandma Ann nodded. “That’s alright. At least I’m out from under that tree.”
He came over then and asked Grandma Ann if she had broken her leg. I answered for her. “How could she break her leg when she didn’t do anything? All she did was lay in bed." I think he was kind of stupid.
Then he left, but he came back every day to help clean up the mess he made with the wood and fix the roof so it would stop leaking. Oh, and he found his dog. He was sleeping in our shed.