Family Non-Fiction posted January 15, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Billy is lost in the woods and is freezing.

I'm freezing!

by junglefighter

A special note to my friends: As I write chapter after chapter, I invite you to join in. My wish, "is to make you laugh and cry, while leaving you in a state of uncertainty of what will happen next." Hope you enjoy and best wishes wherever you are.


Previously in chapter 4: Our coming together had been blessed by a guardian Angel. After the days activity, we were exhausted and went off to bed early. My dad, also home too take charge so to speak, made my falling to sleep much easier. Of course, my theatrics toward being head of the household had been a macho trip and I was walking in tall cotton. Of course, you knew that, didn't you? I remembered counting eight sheep as they jumped the picket fence. And I had watched the ninth one leap. Poor thing, I fell asleep before it landed, and left it suspended in midair. Oh, well, I'd get it down the next night.

Chapter 5

My, God! I could not believe it was 6:00 a. m. already. Leaping from bed, I ran to the window, watched the rays of sunrise march along the crystal white snow and then gently, "kiss my face." Oh, how wonderful having my dad home for Christmas.

Suddenly, I felt a void. "What's missing," I thought? Oh, I remember now, I had left the ninth sheep suspended in midair before falling asleep last night. Sorry, little fellow, just hang up there, and we'll get you down tonight. Okay?

"Rise and shine, Billy. It's Monday and things are back to normal. Dress warm for it's snowing outside. If you get right into your chores you'll finish before breakfast."

"I'm up already, Mom. And I'll put my long handles on to help keep warm."

Finishing my chores in the winter took less time than in summer. Why? Because the cows gave up their milk faster to avoid cold hands. As a matter of fact, I was finished up and back in front of the fireplace in a record time this morning. God, it was cold out there.

"Breakfast is on the table, Billy. Call your Dad, okay?"

"Yes, ma'am!"

Normally, we didn't eat fried chicken for breakfast. However, when you consider that it was smothered in flour-gravy, with oven baked biscuits on the side, then it became an exception to the rule. There were times of course, especially through the summer months, that we could not afford to buy ice blocks for the cooler. Therefore, our leftover's would spoil from the heat and we would feed them to the hog's. No problem, as grandpa said; "It'll all come back to us at slaughter time."

During our meal, we listened to the meteorologist on our old Smith field radio. Although the reception was weak with static, we managed to make out his predicting heavy snow for late afternoon. After finishing breakfast, I climbed into my foul-weather gear, grabbed my lunch box, and headed out for school.

The north wind was freezing cold. And walking through the snow drifts slowed me somewhat. The last bell was ringing for class when I reached school. After stashing my cold weather gear in the cloak room, I walked over to the potbelly stove to warm my hands and feet.

"Take your seats and listen up, children. Snowstorms are predicted for our area with temperatures in the upper twenties. Therefore, I am closing school at noontime until further notice."
Mrs. Cooper spent most of the morning assigning homework for us to complete while out of school. Supposedly, the weather front was moving in within 72-hours."Be sure and tell your parents that school will be out until further notice. Do any of you need help in getting home?  Some kids answered yes, and others no. To admit I needed help, would certainly cloud my macho image. Therefore, I grabbed my coat, toboggan and lunch box then headed out for home. Of course, it didn't seem all that cold at first. However, having put my long-handles on was certainly helping hold my body heat.
Walking in ankle-deep snow, I approached the short-cut I always took home. By this time, the snow had almost covered the pathway through the woods that I normally used for navigating my way. Although, I had made no mental notes of other markers, I was confident that I could find my way through.

After walking for some time in the direction I thought was right, I became disoriented and exhausted. I passed by an old rusted out wood-burning stove that I had never seen before.  It was obvious that I was lost. The thought of my freezing to death started me shaking uncontrollably.
Reflecting back on what grandpa had told me to do, if lost in a snowstorm, I stopped abruptly behind a snowdrift, used my tin lunchbox to dig a hole for my lanky frame, hung the lunchbox from a forked limb as a marker for my body, jumped into the hole, and covered myself with snow with exception of my face. "If this worked for grandpa, it'll work for me," I thought. Having hunted these woods many a time, my dad would find me before I froze to death. To think otherwise, would be scary and unacceptable. Don't you agree?

The time of day, and I was guessing, was around 3:00 p.m. Settling down beneath the blanket of snow, I waited for any sight or sound of my dad combing the woods searching for me. Why, all of a sudden was I getting sleepy? I had slept well last night. And why was I feeling warm while buried in snow with the north wind blowing against my face? I heard a wolf howling somewhere in the woods. My nose and face were numbed by the freezing wind. I tried moving my arms, legs and the effort failed. "Please, help me someone," I screamed. No one answered. "I'm here by the snowdrift," I yelled. Why, can't you hear me? "What a waste," I thought. My freezing to death at age seven when I had planned much more. "Wait a second," I whispered. How could I be freezing when I felt so warm? I was tired! Maybe a nap is what I needed. Slowly closing my eyes, I drifted off to sleep.

A "Salute!" Seshadri, for the Artwork.

Continued in chapter 6



My cousin out in California is in the motion picture business. We were joined at the hips as kids growing up in Pigeon Forge, (Dollywood) Tennessee. We're meeting there to discuss filming a movie of my book. I'll be writing around twenty chapters. I shall post them for review, chapter after chapter.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by seshadri_sreenivasan at

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