Chicken bones and cranberries

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Set sail

Eddie did not think that girls make good travel companions. He turned a bit grumpy when he saw that Jack brought his sister, but there was no time to waste arguing. The children did not have a boat, but there were a few fishermen’s boats tied to the Bluebells dock. Eddie chose the one that looked the sturdiest. “We are just borrowing it,” he explained.
The lake was still and shone as a big black scrying mirror. At first, Jack and Eddie rowed very carefully; they were afraid to wake the fishermen’s dogs that slept in their kennels nearby. As soon as the boat got a little farther away from the shore, the boys sped up. Lisa, too, got to row, taking her turn. She surprised Eddie with her strength and resilience[1].
When the children finally made it onto the forest side of Lake Jezebel, the sun was well up already. Exhausted, Jack tied the boat under a shadowy willow tree that grew right on the shore.
Jack was very worried about little Stella in the awful hands of the wicked witch, and he hurried along to find the witch’s house as soon as possible. Eddie was very excited to be in the ancient forest. He hopped along, thinking about the witch’s artifacts that he was about to obtain[2]. But Lisa was way too tired to catch up with the boys after a sleepless night on the lake. She begged the boys to rest. Unwillingly, they agreed to stop for a break.
The children sat under a large oak tree, opened their backpacks, and shared their first meal on the journey. Jack brought a piece of cheese, Eddie contributed a turkey leg from his mother’s oven, and Lisa offered some bread and jam. The meal made them thirsty and Jack got up to get some water from the brook that they could hear gurgling nearby. Lisa asked if she could stay and wait for Jack under the tree. Eddie said that he was going to scout around and find the path to the Gray Moors, which was supposed to lay between the northern shore of Lake Jezebel and the abandoned ranger cabin.
When Jack came back with water, his sister was sound asleep. She looked so peaceful, that Jack did not want to wake her right away. He thought that taking a nap before Eddie returns may not be such a bad idea, after all. He covered Lisa with a blanket and lay down next to her. His eyelids closed as soon as his head touched the backpack that he used instead of a pillow.

[1] Resilience: ability to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness.

[2] Obtain: to get something.

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