They neared the stream in short order, surveyed the banks and forest edges from the concealment of the brush, and then made their way halfheartedly to the water’s edge. Hobie shivered violently as he looked at the swift water. He suggested that to reach the other side reasonably near to the path, they should go upstream a ways before they entered. No one objected to a short delay in the inevitable.
Reaching a point along the bank where they agreed that they could cross to near the path, Hobie was first in the water. The cold nearly paralyzed his legs so that his progress was painfully slow. The others gathered around him and sped his crossing, Molly and Sam each on a side, and Ben behind. Soon, but not as soon as they had wished, they reached the other bank and pulled themselves out. They were cold, but the knowledge that the cabin was close helped them feel warmer. They almost didn’t care about the possibility of a wolf encounter.
The shivering was taking hold of Hobie’s muscles again, but movement back towards the cabin helped calm it; that, and the knowledge that he was back with his friends. They made deliberate and quick progress back to shelter.
After the day’s ordeal, they were all hungry. Molly spread the shirt out on the grass to help it dry in the waning sun, and they feasted on the tasty salad in the yard.
After a while, although they hadn’t yet eaten their bate of grass, they began, once again thinking about wolves. For the first time since their return to the cabin, they looked towards the cabin door, and were relieved to find it still closed. They made their way single file across the yard and up the steps. Sam nudged the door open and they found all just as they had left it. Once inside, Sam pushed the door closed and they secured it just as they had before.
They were for now, once again safe.